New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady answered some questions about the upcoming Super Bowl XLVI game against the New York Giants during Wednesday's media access. Courtesy of Patriots.com.
(on making improvements when playing a team for a second time in a season)
"Over the course of the season, whether it was from one Denver game to the second Denver game, or the first game of the year to the last game of the year, we've always tried to make improvement. I think that's really been the hallmark of a Coach Belichick-coached team. He really keeps the pressure on us from the first meeting of the season to the last meeting of the season. Maybe early in the year you try out some combinations of players and plays and so forth, and then you realize that they don't work so you don't use them anymore and you go to the stuff that does work and you try to do those things more consistently. I think that's where we're at the point now. We're doing the things that we do a decent job of and we just try to improve those things so we're at our best for this particular game."
(on managing the high expectations for his own level of performance)
"I feel like when I played a game like I did a couple of weeks ago, quarterbacks never try to turn the ball over, and if there's one thing that correlates to winning games, it's turnovers. To turn the ball over two times like I did, I didn't feel like that was certainly my best performance. I said yesterday and I wish I didn't say it because I didn't want to take away from what the team had accomplished, and certainly we had accomplished a lot to get to this point in the season and to be a very good team in the AFC Championship Game, to fight back like we did - we were down in that game - I think we've proven that we're a pretty mentally tough team. We're trying to put our best out there this weekend. It's nice to be here Wednesday and get back to work and really settle into the week. This will really feel like a solid week of preparation so we can go out there and play on Sunday."
(on the leadership of
"Vince has been a great leader on this team. He sets the example, he sets the tone in practice. He's an extremely consistent player. He plays at a very high level every week. You feed off guys like that. When you look across at the other side of the ball and you see guys like Vince who is always holding himself to a very high expectation, ultimately he plays at a Pro Bowl level every year, it's great to see. He's been a great leader for this team since he got here. When he first got here as a young guy and he was surrounded by a lot of veteran players that brought some great leadership qualities to him, and he's really taken that over."
"Deion is a big part of what we do. As you saw in the Denver game, when he makes those big plays down the field - and he's made some big ones in AFC Championship Games and Super Bowls - he's a very clutch player. He always seems to show up for the big games. I've always enjoyed working with him. For him to come back last season - he told my last week on the bye week how excited he was to be back in this game and how grateful he was and that he went away from our team and didn't really experience what he wanted to experience at the other place - now he's back and we have this opportunity again. He just kept telling me, 'Tom, you don't know how happy I am to be back playing for this team and in this game. It's great for all of us.'"
(on the importance of bringing
"We haven't talked about that. I would never want to think about that. Wes is one of my great friends. I hope he's back. He certainly deserves it. He's done a great job since he's gotten here. He led the league this year in catches and in yards. Really as an underdog he has continued to show his character. Every year he seems to get better and have an understanding of our offense and what he does. He's a great player on this team."
(on the support of his father -
"It's one of my favorite topics, talking about my Dad and my relationship with him. He was my role model growing up. I really enjoyed spending time with him. I had three older sisters, so when you're the youngest, the baby boy and the only boy, you get spoiled by your Mom and your Dad, which I certainly did. My Dad would always take me on trips together. We always enjoyed playing golf together and doing things one-on-one. When I was in high school and I really started enjoying the game and understanding the game we went to some camps at some different colleges. We went to the University of Arizona one year, UCLA one year and Arizona State one year.
(on the support of his father - Tom Brady, Sr. - over the years
"He was always there to support me. He's been there every step of the way. Then I went to school a long ways from home (University of Michigan)
and he and my Mom were there at every home football game that they could possibly be at and a lot of road games, too. And even when I started my pro career, he traveled to Buffalo. I don't know if you guys have ever been to the hotels in Buffalo - they're not the nicest places in the world - but he would still travel to those. It was just great to grow up in a house like that and feel so supported by your Mom and Dad. I've always had that great support at home. I certainly wouldn't be standing here if I didn't have the love and support of my parents and my sisters and my family."
(on being back in the Super Bowl)
"It's great. This is everything that you ask for as an athlete and as competitors. I said yesterday when you're not playing in this game it sucks to turn on the TV these days. Every channel you turn on is talking about this game and the players in this game. As a competitor you want to be here, you need to be here. This is why we've worked so hard over the years - high school, college, pros - to prepare for games like this. It's a fun game. I've had an opportunity to be in a few of them, and it's hard to imagine the football season ends in five days for us, but it does. It's been a great season for us, and hopefully we can make it extra special with a win on Sunday."
(on whether he can be rattled after his knee surgery when defenders are around his legs)
"You hear that every week from teams that you play that they want to get to the quarterback and hit the quarterback. In our team meetings, Coach Belichick talks about getting to the opposing team's quarterback and hitting the quarterback. That's just what defensive football is all about. It wouldn't be the Super Bowl if they weren't talking about coming to knock me down and trying to knock me out. That's what I expect, and you know what, our offensive line gets paid to keep those guys out of there. This team (Giants)
has a very good pass rush. I've seen it game after game this year. They can get to the quarterback. They can hit the quarterback. They can force the quarterback into some bad decisions and some bad throws. We're going to try to eliminate those. We really can't afford too many of those on Sunday. We had too many of those the last time we played them, and we're not going to be able to win the game making mistakes."
(on when he started using the wristband for play calls on reading the small print)
"It's really a means of backup communication if the headsets go down. It has all of the plays on there. If for some reason the coach-to-quarterback system doesn't work, then we can go to the wristbands. It's pretty small print, but I have decent eyes. Maybe when I get a little bit older I won't be able to see it and I may have to go with two wristbands, but right now I'm pretty good with one."
(on whether he's seen
"Chad has worked hard every day. I've really loved having Chad on this team and being able to play with him. I met him a while ago at my second Pro Bowl, I think he was there. His still has that childlike quality in terms of his enthusiasm for the game and practice and competition. I was excited to get him this year. I wished that he would have had a bigger role on this team. We've just had other guys who have played more snaps with Deion(Branch), Wes (Welker), Rob (Gronkowski) and Aaron (Hernandez), who are obviously so hard to take off of the field. Chad's done a great job. He comes to work every day and he's willing to do whatever it takes to win. I think he's enjoying this experience this week, too. To play in this game for the first time, he's been telling me how excited he is. I'm excited for him."
(on what longtime family friend and mentor Tom Martinez meant to his development as a quarterback)
"He's obviously a great friend of mine and a great friend of my family's, and has been for a long time. He taught me how to throw the football at a young age. I'm forever indebted to him. We've worked together for over 20 years trying to work on my mechanics and nail those down. He's had a great commitment to me. He's always calling and texting and saying, 'Get your shoulder down and get your arm up and close your left side and take a shorter stride.' Talk about a perfectionist, he's a perfectionist and he doesn't let anything slide with me. I owe so much to him. I love him. I love his family. He's got a great family and I enjoy being with him and working with him. He's hopefully going to get a kidney pretty soon. He's been looking for a kidney transplant for a long time, and I'm sure hoping he gets one."
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