Tom Brady suffered one of his most embarrassing losses Monday night. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Making his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan, Tom Brady attempted to explain the team’s poor play in Monday’s embarrassing loss to the Chiefs and why the already-struggling offense appears to be getting worse. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady acknowledged he did not have a good game, but he downplayed the importance of one disastrous night for him and the team.
“I think you’ve got to have enough mental toughness to endure through all the situations,” Brady said. “This game, it tests your will, it tests your mental toughness, it tests your discipline and your work ethic. I think those are the things that are going to be tested by us the rest of the year. I don’t think it’s just going to be easy to just roll out helmets out there and expect to go out there and win games. We’ve got a lot of tough opponents, the competition’s tough.
“It was a tough loss the other night, but whether you lose by one point or you lose by 30, they’re all going to count the same in the end. We’ve got to figure out the things that we need to do better, which is quite a few things in order to be a lot more competitive than we were. It was a disappointing loss, but at the same time we’ve got to be able to move on. We’ve got a short week and we’ve got a great opponent. We don’t want one bad week to turn into two bad weeks. That’s where we’ve got to show, like I said, our mental toughness and our ability to move forward, learn from our mistakes and hopefully not repeat them.”
Brady was removed from the game in the fourth quarter, with the result no longer in doubt, and backup Jimmy Garoppolo entered and threw a touchdown pass. Bill Belichick laughed off a question in his postgame news conference about a quarterback controversy.
“I just do what I’m told. I’m not overanalyzing anything. We were getting our butts kicked,” Brady said. “It was a situation where we didn’t have a good game. That’s what coach wanted to do, so that’s what we did.”
Routs of the Patriots in the Belichick-Brady era are rare, and past teams have been able to avoid allowing bad games to lead to bad seasons. However, the 2014 team has underwhelmed since the start of the season, leading to questions about whether these Patriots can turn things around.
“There’s no magic play, there’s no magic scheme. It’s us as players playing a lot better than we’re playing,” Brady said. “This hasn’t been an isolated incident. I don’t think offensively we’ve played well all year. I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time. We’ve got to figure out the reasons why we’re not playing as well as we’re capable and try to improve them.”
The other issue is that the problems seem to be team-wide, as no one area has looked especially strong.
“It’s all of us,” Brady said. “It’s not just the skill group, the line, it’s the quarterback, tight ends, receivers, backs, offense, defense — it’s a team sport. We all complement one another. Like I said, if we don’t do well offensively, yeah, then the defense is on the field. When we play from behind like we’ve played from behind the last four weeks, it usually doesn’t go very well for teams. We’ve got to do a better job getting ahead, staying ahead, so we can stay balanced, we can have our full complement of our offense, we don’t stress our pass game too much, we don’t stress the protections, the defense has more of an opportunity to play and make the calls they want — it all ties together.
“I don’t think in any phase of the game we’re playing the way we need to play in order to compete at a high level week in and week out. That’s why we were in there working yesterday and trying to figure these things out. We’re 2-2. It’s not where we want to be, but it’s where we’re at. And we’re not making excuses for it other than to say we that we’ve got to play better.
“It’s not one position, it’s not one player. It’s all players, it’s all positions, it’s all coaches, it’s everybody. That’s why we’ve got to all rally together. There’s no one that’s going to dig us out of the hole except for ourselves. Like I said, our mental toughness, our will, our ability to learn from our mistakes and move forward is going to be really important to the outcome of our season. We’ve got a lot of football to play. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the guys that I play with. That’s what we’re going to rely on. We’re going to rely on the trust that we have in one another, to go out there and do the job that we need to do.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On his individual struggles and poor statistical performance: “I don’t think we’ve played well offensively for a while. So I think that’s obviously going to reflect in every statistic that you can find, that we don’t have the kind of offense that’s going to perform at a high level. Like I said, everyone’s connected. It all ties together. I’m sure you can find a lot of statistics that aren’t what they were when we were playing well. But we’re not playing well, so we’re not going to have good stats.”
On the third-down play when he passed up running for a first down and attempted a pass to Julian Edelman that was incomplete: “It’s a split-second decision. In hindsight I wish I would have run it, because I think it would have been easier to get the first down. I kind of stepped up there in the pocket and caught Julian running across at the last second and thought I had a little space to get it in there to him. As it turned out, the ball ended up being incomplete. That’s one of the plays that I wish that I would have made a better decision on. That leads to first down, and first downs leads to keeping our defense off the field, which leads to hopefully us staying on the field longer and being able to control the ball and get more into our offense and score more points, which is our goal. The game’s about making plays and making good plays and good decisions. Those are the things that I’ve got to keep working on.”
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