FOXBORO (CBS) – Transcript of Wednesday’s press conference by Tom Brady, as furnished by the New England Patriots.
Q: This is the second week you’ve been named AFC Player of the Week. How do you think this season is going for you?
TB: I think the Chicago Bears are a good team, and we got to play well this week. I’m excited for the challenge. It’s a short week for us. I think we’ve really got to prepare well. We’re quite a few days behind them [after] playing Monday night. That’s [individual statistics] really the last thing on my mind.
Q: You’ve had nearly perfect games the past several weeks. Did you feel like you were playing at that level early this season?
TB: Regardless of how I play it’s how our offense plays. That’s what I’m concerned most about. I think we’ve been playing better as of late, and we’re going to need to continue to play better. The weather is getting colder. The conditions are getting tougher. Everyone has to be able to execute at a high level, and I think that the guys that are on the field that are playing play-in-play-out we’re doing a good job of that. We’re still searching for more consistency for all us, myself, Wes [Welker], Deion [Branch], the veteran guys, the younger players. The games only get bigger from here. That’s really what we’re preparing for.
Q: Obviously a big win over the Jets, but it was Monday night; it’s a short week. How do you adjust to all of that?
TB: We get back to work today and we put a good day in and we have a good day tomorrow and a good day Friday. That’s how we prepare here and that’s what’s been working. I don’t think we sit here and think, ‘Wow we got it all figured out.’ We certainly don’t. It’s a whole different opponent, very different challenges, a team we haven’t played in a while, a team we’re not very familiar with that has very good players. They play very well at home. We’re going to need to go out there and play really well.
Q: How big of a challenge is it to stay mentally sharp week-to-week?
TB: That’s really our jobs. It’s only been 12 weeks. It’s not like this is the last week of the season. We’re three-quarters of the way through the season, haven’t accomplished anything. Yeah, it was a good win on Monday night, but it doesn’t do anything for us. It doesn’t do anything this week. We’re going to need to go out there this week and put on a good performance. Try to go out there and play our style, understand the strengths that they have, and try to commit to doing things that we need to do to win the game.
Q: Does a guy like Julius Peppers change the way you guys run the offense?
TB: Oh yeah. He’s one of the best in the league. He’s big, strong, fast, athletic, played against him a bunch over the years. He’s got seven sacks this year. He’s really wreaking havoc. The end on the other side is a very good player too, ‘71’ (Israel Idonije) has got seven sacks also. I don’t want to pronounce his name. I’ll probably screw it up. He’s very good. They’ve got a great group of linebackers, probably one of the best groups in the league, [and] a very good secondary. Guys that have been together that are experienced. It’s one of the best defenses in the league. It seems like everyone keeps saying that every week, [but] we’re playing some really good defenses and these guys are right at the top of the list.
Q: This is a different stadium than you have played in. I don’t think you’ve played in Soldier Field?
TB: No, we played in Champaign the last time we were supposed to play in Chicago. That was a hell of a game.
Q: Barely pulled it out.
TB: yeah, we were down 11 with four minutes left and came back and beat them. That was pretty special, but we haven’t been to this stadium. We played in Soldier Field in 2000. I didn’t play. I went to the game. I was eating nachos I think. We didn’t play very well that day either. I haven’t been to the new Soldier Field.
Q: Have you played in almost every stadium in the NFL?
TB: Quite a bit. I’m getting close. I missed the ones on the NFC West trip to Seattle and San Francisco. I think those may be two of the ones. And Dallas.
Q: Would you like to play at the one in Dallas this year?
TB: That’s so far away. I don’t really care about that. Soldier Field, that’s where I’m playing.
Q: Your receivers had a season high in yards after the catch on Monday, how does that change the offense? Is it just as effective as not having the deep pass?
TB: Sure. Anyway you can gain them. I think that’s really a strength of what our guys are able to do. There’s very good quickness by our team, by Wes [Welker], by Brandon [Tate], Aaron [Hernandez], Deion [Branch]. All those guys can run after the catch. If you get it in their hands they’re very dangerous with it. We’ve got to continue to get the ball in their hands so they can do that. That was really something that we went into last week saying, ‘Alright guys, this is what we got to do. After we catch it we got to make some yards.’”
Q: With all the points that the team has been scoring this year, does it sometimes feel like it’s 2007 all over again?
TB: I wouldn’t say so. We’re not even close to that. I think it’s an entirely different team and style than what we’re trying to accomplish here. We’re just trying to get the ball in the end zone. That’s what our job is. We don’t go out there to punt. I always said that he doesn’t send us out there and say, ‘Run three plays. We’ll send the punt team out.’ We’re trying to go out there to score and sometimes we do it and other times we haven’t. I think we’ve been the beneficiaries of a lot of turnovers by our defense, which has really helped us. Situationally, we’ve got to continue to do a better job as well like before the half last week, before the end of the game not really being productive there.