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.
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after he provided the big hit in the 10th inning driving in 3 runs as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 4-1. Mookie talks about playing behind a pitcher like Chris Sale, and the amount of strikeouts from Sale lightens his work in the outfield.
In the final hour Christian talks about the Celtics and their poor performance and how they can not let a player like Rondo beat them. The Aaron Hernandez saga in Christian's opinion is similar to a TV show. In the late night low light a mystic has predicted that WW3 will be starting in a few weeks and Christian wonders how do you become a mystic and can you make a career out of it.
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.
Hour 2. Mut, Gerry, and Kirk compare LeBron to Bird. Is he the second best player of all-time if he wins a fourth title? Headlines with Kirk features sound from “Hot Chocolate.” Rear Admiral broke down the B’s playoff series with Arcand.
HOUR - The last hour of the show was all over the place as the guys did a dry rehearsal of a wacky video they're supposed to record next week. They also look at the biggest games in the NFL next year, and Fauria rips off "Keefer Madness" with his "Fauria Euphoria."
HOUR 3 - The guys get into expectations for the Celtics who are down 2-0 to the Rajon Rondo-less Bulls. They also wonder how much the Celtics are listening to Brad Stevens. Christian is excited for Caitlyn Jenner's nude spread.
HOUR 2 - News breaks that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. Rondo was dynamite in game 2. The guys discuss whether or not the Celtics now stand a chance.
Last two hours focused on our winter teams as they struggle in their first round match-ups.
Finish out the week on Freestyle Friday talking mostly about the Aaron Hernandez suicide and how it will affect his family in hour #2.
Hour One of freestyle Friday focused mostly on the Celtics and their matchup vs the now Rondo-less Bulls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben sits down with Diego Fagundez to talk about Diego's rise through the ranks of the academy, his accomplishment of reaching 10,000 minutes as a homegrown player, and how he has evolved his game.
Rich and Ben discuss the Celtics poor performances in Games 1 & 2, how we have to change our predictions, Rajon Rondo's thumb injury, and who is to blame for the terrible start to the series.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the entire week of K&C shows in one mega Friday edition
Danny talks about the Red Sox and Orioles game and the fireworks in the 8th inning when Matt Barnes threw at Manny Machado. Pedroia was shown talking to Machado saying he wouldn't have thrown at his head and Danny wants to know how bad does this make Pedroia look throwing a teammate under the bus.More from this show
Michele McPhee joins Kirk, Gerry, and Alex to talk about Hernandez’s suicide and the accusation that she may have contributed to his suicide.More from this show
Hour 4. While discussing what kind of music Aaron Hernandez may have liked, the guys realize they hate musicals. Robert Kennedy Jr. has voice spasms. The week ends with a tragedy.More from this show
Hour 3. A game by game breakdown of the Patriots schedule. Kirk has the Patriots losing 12 games. There is breaking news that Hernandez left a note for his gay jailhouse lover.More from this show
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.More from this show