FOXBORO — Tom Brady took to the podium Tuesday with a cough drop in his mouth and a little redness in his right eye.
It was pretty obvious that the Patriots superstar quarterback went through practice on Tuesday indoors at Dana Farber Field House a little bit under the weather.
Brady was asked point blank toward the end of the 13-minute session with the media if he had a cold.
“A little bit, but I’ll live,” Brady said. “I’ll be there [Saturday]. Hopefully [I'm] not on the injury report. I’ll try to talk my way out of that one.”
Whether it was for Brady or the general well-being of the entire team, Bill Belichick moved practice from the sub-zero temperatures and frozen turf outdoors to the climate-controlled environment of the field house.
“I feel good and I’m ready to go and that was very surprising for all us players,” Brady said of Belichick’s humane move.
While he gets his rest, he will have to find ways of dealing with a Colts team that came back from the dead, erasing a 28-point deficit against the Chiefs. Brady certainly has experienced that feeling this season in comebacks against the Broncos, Saints and Browns.
“It was a great game, a great team win and they got into a hole there and just had to dig their way out,” Brady said of Indy’s miraculous 45-44 escape. “Once you get some momentum going on your side, it’s pretty remarkable to be able to do that. Down 28 points there in the third quarter ‘ they just made a bunch of good plays and it took them until the very end to win and the defense made a great stop there in the fourth quarter with two minutes to go. There’s going to be a lot of close games ‘ we’ve been in a lot of close games, they’ve been in a lot of close games, probably more than anybody in the league. They find a way to win them. That’s how they got to this point. Hopefully we can go out and be the team that goes out on top.”
There’s something else Brady will be concerned about – the pressure from outside linebacker Robert Mathis.
“He’s a good place to start,” Brady said. “He’s a great player and been a great player for a long time. We’ve played these guys a bunch over the years. We kind of know what we’re up against. He’s having one of the best years of his career. They have a good defense. They are top-10 in a bunch of categories. They really have some good safeties that cover a lot of ground, really fast corners. They’re physical. They have a good team. We just have to outscore them I think. We have to go out there and put points on the board. That’s what our job is going to be.
“I can’t really run away from him, so that option’s out the door. You have to understand where he’s at. He really has a sense of urgency. It’s one thing to sack the quarterback. It’s another thing to strip-sack him and the ball’s flying all over the place. You have eliminate those types of plays. They’ve had a lot of those types of plays this year which have been a big benefit to their team where he runs the edge, the quarterback’s standing back there, here he comes and strip-sacks him. We just really can’t let that happen.
“That’s why he’s one of the best players in the league ‘ because he makes those types of plays happen. He makes them on a regular basis, it’s not a fluke when he does it. That’s a trademark of their team and we have to try to stop one of their strengths, probably one of their best strengths and still go out there and be aggressive enough to move the football and get the ball in the end zone.”
Here’s the rest of Brady’s presser Tuesday at Gillette Stadium:
Q: What do you think about your former teammate Darius Butler and the job he’s done for their defense?
TB: He’s done a great job. I always had a lot of respect for Darius and what he was able to do. He’s an incredible athlete. I’ve thrown him a lot of interceptions on the practice field; hopefully I don’t throw him one this weekend.
Q: Have you heard from your former teammate Deion Branch after he signed with the Colts?
TB: Yeah I think that they did that this week. As for our defenses, I’m going to worry about all those guys and prepare for all those guys and that’s part of guys changing teams and so forth. It’s nice to see a guys get an opportunity, especially one of your great friends.
Q: Any chance you’ve spoken to Deion since yesterday or even in recent weeks?
TB: I keep in touch with a lot of guys. Over the years I’ve had a lot of great friends that I’ve been lucky enough to play with on this team that are just great people and you’re always wishing the best for those people. Certainly the guys that have played receiver here are the guys I’ve been closest with because that’s probably where the most interaction is. All the quarterbacks I’ve been with and certainly all the receivers I’ve been with ‘ I certainly keep in touch with those guys.
Q: We asked Andrew Luck about the motivating factor of playing in the same playoff game as you. What about for you personally ‘ when one of the great young players is coming to challenge you in a playoff game?
TB: I don’t necessarily approach it like that. My motivation is pretty simple. I just try to win, that’s what I try to do and try to be part of the reason why we’re successful. That’s part of doing my job and trying to be the best I can be for the team. It really doesn’t have anything to do with anybody on the other team and their motivation might be. To be a professional athlete and to play at this high level with this level of competition, winning is the only thing that’s important. That’s one goal and one objective that I’ve had for a very long time.
Q: There’s a tradition in baseball where you don’t talk to that day’s starting pitcher. As the game nears, do you become a little more anticipatory and restless for the game to kick off?
TB: I could still use a few days to get ready so we’re already on a relatively short week. I’ll be ready once the game’s kicked off. Once that ball’s kicked off, I’ll be prepared. But I’ll use all that time to find ways to prepare and get ready. Everyone probably has a routine or a way to get ready at this time of the year. Over the course of the season you find different things that work and don’t work. I’ll use every day.
Q: How does your mood evolve for a game of this magnitude?
TB: It’s incredible to play in this. These are the moments you dream about ‘ to be in the NFL playoffs and you have a chance with eight other teams to be the last team standing. It’s why we work hard. It’s why every guy puts a lot out there. You sacrifice a lot of things. A lot of people would die to be in our positions. I don’t think you take those things for granted. I think you cherish those and understand the opportunity that’s ahead. It’s different than a normal week. There’s no, ‘Hey, we’ll get them tomorrow. We’ll talk about the corrections on Monday.’ You have one opportunity to get it right and that’s all you can ask for as an athlete and the great part is that once that ball is kicked off, none of that other crap matters. It’s just the players that are ultimately going to go out there and decide who wins the game by how we play.
Q: You can impart your wisdom upon the younger players who have never appeared in a playoff game before. But in reality do you have to play in it for a while to understand the intensity and pressures of what the playoffs are all about?
TB: I think you just try to play it really well. There’s a first time, really, for everybody, so I don’t think that can be used as an advantage or an excuse. It was my first time in 2001 when we played in a playoff game and we did pretty well. Like I said, the difference is that there’s no second chances. You have to get it right and you try to get it right against the other best teams in the league. The other teams have earned the chance to get this spot; we earned a bye to advance to this part in the playoffs. Now we have to go out there and try to advance to the third round but you have to play really well. This team makes you earn it. You could have a 28-point lead but it really doesn’t matter unless there’s no time left on the clock. This is a team that’s good in all three phases, they put pressure on you to do the right thing on every single play. Hopefully that’s a skill set of ours, too. Hopefully we can go out there and play well on every single play and see if they can slow us down.
Q: Do pressure and nerves affect play calling and how a player plays?
TB: I’m not sure. I think there’s always pressure to the games that we play. There’s a lot at stake for every player and every coach and every fan and every family member. There’s a lot at stake for everybody. You just understand that. A lot of us have been dealing with it for a long time. You just try to go out there and do your best. I think that’s the most important thing.
Q: You talk about consistency over the course of the season and keeping an even plane. Is it hard to do this time of year or do you find it more important to be the same guy you’ve been from the preseason right on through?
TB: I think consistency as a team and as an individual and what you bring to the table always has to be really important. That’s what professional athletes do and that’s something that really, you learn to do because you can’t ride the highs and lows of the season because the season’s too long and you don’t have enough emotional energy to go up and down and up and down. You just try to put it all in as best you can and watch the guys who do it pretty well and learn from them. But yeah, going out there and being consistent and dependable is what you hope for as a football team. I hope we know what we’re going to get out of each other this week. We put a lot of time and energy into our preparation ‘ all the games, all the practices and it comes down to one game.
Q: You put another player [Brandon Spikes] on injured reserve this week. Do guys not even blink anymore at this since it has become a common thing and you still have gotten this far?
TB: Yeah, there have been a lot of guys put on injured reserve and it’s happened to plenty of other teams too. You have to learn to deal with it and overcome the adversity of it. Hopefully the guys who are filling in are capable of doing the job. We’ve been able to sustain to this point. We have to be able to continue to do it.
Q: Why has this team been able to sustain. What’s been the key?
TB: The guys who have taken those roles have come in and done a good job. We just have made the critical plays when it mattered most. No matter who was out there at what position, we won enough games to put ourselves in a position to get us to this point. It’s fierce competition in the NFL every week and you have to be at your best and do it as consistently as possible. That’s going to be another really important thing this week ‘ to be at our best.
Q: How encouraging is it that running game has really clicked the past few weeks heading into cold, playoff-type football?
TB: Our running game has been really good all year. Truthfully it’s been really a great strength of our team ‘ our ability to run and I think that’s our offensive line and how physical they are and how consistent have been this year. That’s been a big strength of our team to take a lot of pressure off our passing game. The way the running backs have run ‘ Stevan [Ridley] and LeGarrette [Blount] and Shane [Vereen] have been great. We have to keep that as a strength of ours. Guys that are able to go in there and really impose their physical style of play against the other team and the way we did it two weeks ago against Buffalo was awesome, the end of the Baltimore game was awesome. Hopefully we can go out and stay balanced this week and try to keep them off balance so they really don’t get a beat on what we’re trying to do. It’s going to take a lot of great efforts from a lot of guys so hopefully we’re in a position to do that.
Q: How have you changed your approach in the playoffs since your early seasons? There’s footage of you head-butting teammates before your first Super bowl. Do you still do that before games? Do you still get that excited?
TB: I’m pretty emotional. It just depends on the moment. I’m a pretty emotional player. All the guys are emotional and they try to bring it and it’s an emotional sport.
Q: Do you still head-butt people before the games?
TB: I have, yes.
One of our favorite segments every week is when we get the chance to talk to the playmaker, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.
The guys asked Patriots LB Jerod Mayo about Tom Brady's mobility and athleticism. In his response, Jerod called Tom "a cerebral quarterback" and said he'd rather have a guy who runs a 4.8 in the right direction than a guy who runs a 4.3 in the wrong direction.
We get the coach's take on all things Patriots as the Patriots roll the Jaguars and head into the bye week at 3-0
Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.
Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.
Joe and Dave talk with Jackie Bradley Jr. after he hit a 2 run home run and made two leaping catches as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-1 tonight.
DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
Which producer lost weight? And which one gained weight?
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Bobby calls in from the streets to talk about gang life and gun control.
With the emergence of the young players for the Red Sox this season, they're starting to look like they can be competitive next season. The guys discuss this and talk more about whether Farrell should be the manager next season when he gets healthy.
Leaks have come out over the last few days that John Farrell will return to the Red Sox when he gets healthy, but is this the right decision? Glenn, Lou and Christian discuss whether or not his job should be safe.
It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?
One of our favorite segments every week is when we get the chance to talk to the playmaker, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.
A player that was suspended for PED use is really the top candidate for baseball's comeback player of the year? How is that possible? We discuss it.
We wrap up the week with some of the best sound bites that you may have missed.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable take a look back at the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox and their affiliates, including who the guys think should be classified as the team's Top 10 prospects. Also, a check in with play-by-play voices this year in Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville as well as Ken's one-on-one interview with Offensive Player of the Year Sam Travis.
Jerry is joined by former sports reporter turned professional chef Jen Royle to discuss her upcoming fight for Haymakers For Hope.
We discuss the woes of Chelsea and Liverpool and the Revs rebounding to push into the playoffs. Plus the book on YoungBen is very flattering.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo and look ahead to 2016 with him.More from this show
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the talented father-son duo.More from this show
It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Ben Roethlisberger sidelines phone story... is it a big deal? Are Patriots fans over-reacting? What would happen if this were the Patriots with a phone on the sidelines? Should we be the 'bigger men' and just move on? We discuss.More from this show