Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Kirk & Callahan Monday morning to discuss Sunday’s 26-10 win over the Rams, which was win No. 201 for his career, among other things related to the team. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.
Even though the Patriots were leading 26-3 in the fourth quarter and in total control of the game, Brady remained on the field and backup Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t play a single snap.
The quarterback explained why he was still on the field so late in the game.
“All these games are close. I know yesterday, 26-3 at one point, but we’re playing for a lot here,” Brady said. “I don’t think it’s ever right to take your foot off the gas pedal. We could use as many reps as possible, all the guys out there. There are different situations that come up in every game. You only get 16 weeks a year to try them out. You try them in practice, but there’s not the speed. There’s not the urgency. It’s not the decision-making because it’s unscripted. In practice you go and talk about these are the plays you’re going to run, these are the defenses you can get.
“Then you go into the game and they it’s all about decision-making really under pressure with everything on the line, so the more reps you can get with Malcolm [Mitchell] and [Chris] Hogan and Martellus [Bennett], guys that I haven’t played with, the better it gets.
“Gronk has been a huge part of what we do. He’s been the focal point of our offense since he got here and it’s always more challenging when you don’t have that caliber of a player, but we’re still going to be able to find ways to move the ball down the field. That’s what our job is and I know Josh [McDaniels] takes a lot of pride in that. No one wants to throw in the towel and we’re not going to do that. We’re going to keep fighting and find ways to move the ball down the field and score points.”
With the win, Brady passed Peyton Manning for the most wins all-time by a NFL quarterback. Brady said Manning reached out to him after the game with a note, but he didn’t hear anything from Roger Goodell, noting he doesn’t hear from the league.
Brady said he wasn’t aware of the record until this season, but noted once again it isn’t so much about him, but the teams he has been on.
“It was definitely this season. It wasn’t even going into the season. I didn’t think about it. I still really don’t think about these types of things,” Brady said. “I think because we’re still so much in the middle of it. It’s not like we have time to reflect and think about a great statistic or a great record or something like that because you’re focused each week on what you’re trying to do and you’re not thinking about anything that you try to think about more when you’re retired. It is cool to have so many people congratulate me and I’ve said it before, but they are always team records to me. There’s nothing you can do in football as an individual.
“It’s all about the collective effort and to be apart of so many great teams and great coaches, it’s been a privilege for me. It’s been a privilege to play for this team for as long as I have and there’s nothing I love doing like playing football and getting ready to play football. Outside of my family, that’s where all my energy goes. It’s very rewarding when it pays off in winning because that is what we’re all trying to accomplish and I have a lot of people around me that support me that are just as committed as I am. I really share in those experiences with everyone else and that is really how I feel.”
On Saturday night, the Patriots honored the 2001 Super Bowl team with a function at the stadium. Brady stopped by, but couldn’t stay long because of the game and then was spotted getting to Gillette Stadium just after 8 a.m. Sunday morning. The quarterback said he has no regrets because playing and preparing for games is what he loves to do and he can enjoy himself after he retires.
“No, it’s not for me because I think there will be a time to sit back and reflect and enjoy those experiences,” he said. “I take them for what they are. All those guys at those parties, they aren’t playing the next day. It is important for me to get my rest. It was nice to see a lot of the guys that I played with, but I couldn’t stay that long because my meetings finished at 8:30 at night and I wanted to stop in because it’s important for me to see those guys. Mr. Kraft, he put on a great event and I wanted to make sure I was supportive of that, but I wanted to get home and to get to bed. Then to get up the next day and to be focused on the game, that’s where my energy was at. It’s not a sacrifice because I love it. At the end of the day I love what I do. I love the experiences that I’ve had. That is what I enjoy.
“I always feel my motivation is that I could have, should have done better. After every game that is what I think. ‘God, I could have done this. I should have done this.’ I think it’s a little maniacal because you deal with so much stuff, sometimes the games, there’s a lot of imperfection in football and there’s a lot of imperfection of what you do out there, especially when you’re making split-second decisions. It’s gratifying to come out of a game and go, ‘Man, that was pretty good game’ That’s happened, definitely. That is what you’re always trying to strive for. For me, I just want to try and put myself in that position every week to be the best I can be for my team.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
On congratulatory video from Brett Favre: “I did, a friend sent it to me. We were in touch this week a few times just with a couple of things that we were talking about football-wise. We exchanged some text messages, too. He’s a great guy. He’s someone I’ve always looked up to. He played the game — there’s nobody physically or mentally tougher than that guy and endured the streak that he had. It was incredible. I’ve always really looked up to him. It was really cool.”
On hit from safety T.J. McDonald, which Brady appeared irked at on the field: “I think it was pretty emotional. I didn’t see the replay yet, but he made a good clean hit. They were blitzing us. I knew we didn’t have him picked up and he put a little extra something on.”
On if he worries about taking hits late in games with score being lopsided: “No. I don’t because I think — I said to my wife as I was driving home, she was like, ‘What was that?’ She wants to know about all these things and I was like, ‘I think it is all fair on the football field.’ You put yourself out there. You’re up 20, you’re down 20. Everyone is playing hard and whatever happens out there is on the football field. I don’t think it was a dirty play. Guys love going in there and hitting the quarterback. They’ve been trained to hit the quarterback their entire careers, especially on defense. They get paid more hitting the quarterback. Their team is 4-8 so they are going to play hard till the end no matter what. They haven’t been in a lot of games this year so they are going to play hard to try and set them up for next year. I had no problem with that hit. I thought it was a real clean play. I was pretty pissed off for the most part yesterday because we weren’t executing as well as we could and that probably had something to do with it as well.”