Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and talked about Peyton Manning as well as the reported infighting going on with the Pats‘ next opponent, the Bears. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“It’s pretty incredible,” Brady said. “It’s hard to throw touchdown passes, and he’s done it in the last few years, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s pretty incredible. It’s a great record. It’s incredibly hard to do. He’s been very durable. He’s been obviously consistent, beyond consistent. He’s just a spectacular player.”
Added Brady: “He’s really got great command, he’s really a field general. I think that’s probably the best description, I think that’s kind of the thing that comes to mind when you think about him. He’s got great command out there. He’s been a great player for a long time. He was great with the Colts, and obviously coming to Denver he’s had an incredible run there. It’s been incredible to watch. He makes throwing four touchdown passes look so easy, which of course, as we know, it’s not.”
While Manning has more touchdown passes, Brady leads in Super Bowl victories, with three to Manning’s one. Brady said he never imagined his career would have turned out the way it did.
“Look, Peyton’s had an incredible career,” Brady said. “I’ve been very fortunate. To think I would have the opportunity to do that when I was starting out is crazy. And I’m still part of a great team that has a great opportunity to achieve even more. You don’t think about these things when you’re a kid, certainly I never did. I think I’ve just been so fortunate over the years to be on a great team, great teammates, and throw great relationships and friends in. Certainly the winning, because I think that’s what sets our team apart from a lot of other teams, has been our ability to win on a consistent basis year in and year out, no matter what the circumstances or situations. So to be a part of an organization that that’s what we’ve been able to accomplish has been unbelievable. I’m a lucky guy. I’m a lucky guy, and still going.”
Added Brady: “I wouldn’t change anything that I’ve ever done. I certainly wouldn’t change my career with anybody. I’ve had the opportunity to play in five Super Bowls. To play for one organization, you can’t envision those things. And like I said, it’s still going. I think hopefully the best is yet to come. We’re trying to accomplish and get better, because really this season is the only one we have, is the only thing we can control. To be sitting here 5-2 feels pretty good, too. [We've] had a good thing going.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On if Manning had an advantage playing in a domed stadium in Indianapolis for most of his career: “I think controlled environments, like everything, there’s positives, there’s negatives. It’s like anything, if you play golf in a controlled environment, which most of those [professionals] do, you’re going to have great scores. If you play golf and it’s 20 mile-an-hour winds and rainy, your scores aren’t going to be as good. But like everything, both teams play in it, and your competition is against your particular opponent. It’s not against a statistics sheet. I would say that the statistics in great conditions are typically going to be — I would say on average — better than they would be if there was really inclement weather. But look what [Brett] Favre‘s done. He was in Green Bay, which is also pretty tough weather.
“There’s probably only five, eight places I would say weather is a significant factor over the course of a season. We happen to play in one of them. But I think it’s great for team football, which, ultimately, in a team sport, and dealing with wins and losses, when you learn to play in those environments and under those conditions, it can be a great advantage to your team in the playoffs. … Because we’ve had the ability to practice and play in it, I think we’re probably one of the best inclement-weather teams ever to play.”
On if he communicates with Manning regularly: “We exchange text messages from time to time. I sent him a congratulatory note last night, just saying congratulations, because I was sitting up there watching it. But I wouldn’t say we talk. No, I wouldn’t say we talk, I’d say we maybe exchange a few messages from time to time.”
On the Bears, who reportedly had some issues in the locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins: “Every team is going through different things. It’s tough when you’re losing. I don’t think there’s a lot of good things or positive things to say when you lose. They’ve actually had a pretty tough home record, which I’m sure is tough on them and the home fans. I think they’ve lost all their games at home this year, and they lost their last home game last year. They haven’t been able to play well at home, but they’re still a good team. They’ve still won a lot of games this year, so they’re winning them on the road. Maybe we wish we played them at home. … We’ll get their best. We always seem to get everybody’s best. It’s just the way it is, playing here.”
On the controversy from a few weeks ago, when reports emerged that Brady was upset with his coaches: “The one thing I can really be responsible for is what I say, and not for really what other people may say or think or write. And that’s OK for them to think that. As I said earlier in the conversation here, there’s nothing positive to say when you lose. It’s not like you come out and you say, ‘Wow, we gave it all we could but we just couldn’t get it done.’ That doesn’t sound great. You don’t ever want to criticize your teammates. You don’t really ever want to criticize yourself much other than to say you can do a lot better. A few weeks ago, there’s not a lot of great things to say. We had been dealing with that. We lost to Miami, we lost to KC. … There’s a lot of teams, like I said, like Chicago, when you’re dealing with losses, it can get pretty tough. For our situation, when we were 2-2, yeah, it’s tough, because we lost a big game on a Monday night, it didn’t look good, we were playing some good teams coming up. Fortunately we found a way to turn things around, and that’s what we need to continue to do. I think everybody’s much more happy around Gillette Stadium when we’re winning games. And I’m sure our fans are, too. We as individuals, that’s what we try to do every day, we go in there with a sense of purpose to try to go out there and put our best on the field. And when it’s not our best, we go reevaluate and try to be at our best the next week.”
On wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was traded from the Seahawks to the Jets over the weekend: “He’s a phenomenal player. It’s obviously a big trade. He’s a very explosive player. There’s always a reason why someone’s traded. We had a lot of trades that worked out on our end — Randy Moss and Corey Dillon. Some teams think a player can be more effective in their system. When that guy’s healthy, he’s an explosive player. We saw that, really his whole career. … He’s an exceptional player.”
On the confrontation during Thursday’s game, when offensive lineman Jordan Devey got a penalty for retaliating against a Jets defender who pushed Brady: “Jordan said to me right after, he was like, ‘Man I wasn’t going to let him [do that]. I saw you throw the ball and the guy shoved you,’ and he goes, ‘I wasn’t going to let him get away with that.’ He’s a great guy, and has really stepped in and done a great job for us. That was great to see. I wish the 15-yarder, we didn’t get that, because we have way too many penalties this year. I think we’ve got to be first or second in the league in penalties. so we’ve got to try to figure out a way to eliminate penalties. But being aggressive and playing to the echo of the whistle and protecting your teammates is always supported in football.”
On if he flopped when pushed a second time: “No, I wasn’t trying to draw a penalty. I got hit the first [time] — when I got hit I thought that they were throwing a penalty on the other guy. That’s what I really thought the penalty was. And then he said it was on our guy. I said, ‘But this is the guy that hit me late.’ I was actually a bit surprised.”
On his recent foray into social media, specifically Facebook: “I’ve worked with one of my great friends on it, who’s really done a great job. That’s a pretty important thing to do today. We’ve talked a lot about it over the years, with social media. Really I think the phrase will always be ‘controlling the message’ and also having the opportunity to talk to your fans. I’m a little bit old school in that I’ve never really approached — probably the younger generation, the guys playing now, are much more in tune with that. I’m trying to do a better job with that, certainly over the last six weeks.”