If the first two games of the 2011 preseason are any indication of what’s in store for the regular season, the New England Patriots look like they’ll be extremely difficult to contain. On Thursday night, the Patriots thrashed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-14, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score suggested. The Pats led 28-0 at halftime thanks to TD drives on their first three possessions. After a three-and-out on their fourth series, the Pats found pay dirt for a fourth time.
Tom Brady was sharp in his 2011 debut, completing 11-of-19 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns, including a 14 yard TD strike to Chad Ochocinco who was making his Pats’ debut. The ;10 MVP sat out the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Chiefs last week. After the imrpessive win, Brady took to the podium to field questions about his first taste of live action this year. Here’s part of Brady’s press conference:
On whether or not he was happy to be back out on the field.
“It was fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to be out there. After sitting last week, I think a lot of the guys were antsy to be out there. I’m glad we put some points on the board, but obviously a lot of things that we could do better too. We’ll use it really as a tool to get better, and hopefully come out and play better next week.”
On the fact they got Chad Ochocinco involved, and whether it was nice to see him get a touchdown
“It was. He’s really finding a role for himself. He’s been practicing hard, he’s very competitive. It’s a good group we have out there. We’ve just got to continue to build. All of us, it’s just, we haven’t played in a long time so everyone’s a bit rusty out there. It will be good to get back to practice this week so we can really take what we learned from the game and try to get better in practice.”
On their offensive performance in the first half
“I mean, we expect to go out there and score. I think we had six drives, four of them ended in touchdowns, we were good in the red area. The one drive we got penalized, and didn’t make much out of that drive, and the last one was the two minute drive. So there was some good, there was plenty of bad, I’m sure we’re going to – I’m sure I’m going to see the film tomorrow – and be disappointed with some of the things that I wish I probably could have done better. We’ve just got to build on it and understand there were things we did wrong, and try to make the corrections.”
On his conversations with Chad Ochocinco and getting in sync
“You know, we’ve missed a lot of time. I think that’s the reality of what’s happened this offseason. We’ve missed a lot of time over the course of six months where we really couldn’t do anything football-wise. So a lot of it is just trying to continue to talk and the only way you can make corrections is to communicate. So we’re always trying to communicate between the two of us. And even with Deion [Branch] and Wes [Welker], we haven’t played football together in eight months either being on the field together. So a lot of it is the receiver group, the tight end group, the quarterbacks and the skill guys really being on the same page so you can anticipate the things that are going on out there, you can play with confidence, and then you can go out there and make the tight plays in those tight situations.”
For more Pats coverage and conversation, head on over to Pats Pulpit.