BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has always presented himself well when speaking publicly, to the point where folks often bandied about the idea of the quarterback turning to a life of politics once his playing career comes to a close. And ever since he let loose the harmless comment about fans getting “lubed up” before a game — a statement that caused an unnecessary wave of criticism from the type that’s quick to overreact — Brady has been even more buttoned-up whenever he steps to the podium.
So it’s been difficult for anyone outside of Brady’s inner circle to get to hear what the quarterback really thinks. Fortunately, there is NFL Network’s “Sound FX” to provide us all with some mic’d up moments from the quarterback in his natural element — the football field.
Julian Edelman wore a microphone during Saturday night’s 43-22 win over the Colts in the divisional round, and it picked up Brady’s pregame message to his receivers.
“We were made for this [expletive],” Brady said to Edelman, Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Austin Collie and Matthew Slater in a huddle before the game. “We’re gonna be better at it than them, all right? Let’s go have some fun and win this game.”
It’s not much, but it’s at least interesting to hear Brady express the type of supreme confidence that is necessary for an athlete of his caliber to succeed for so long. Had he said that the Patriots were “gonna be better” than the Colts in his mid-week press conference, it would have made national news as bulletin-board material for the opposition. But on the field, pumping up his teammates, Brady’s message was loud and clear: We’re winning tonight. And they did.
Devin McCourty, another player who always walks The Patriots Line, also broke character from his press conference persona when he pumped up the defense before the game.
“It’s playoff football, fellas. It’s about winning. All we care about tonight is winning. Let’s win every play,” McCourty screamed at the center of a huddle. “We got a date next week, fellas. Let’s get there. We got a date next week.”
Other noteworthy items from the mic’d up segment:
–Many moons ago, Tom Brady quoted Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk, who said his favorite championship ring is always “the next one.” Clearly, that’s a message that stuck with Julian Edelman, who was told by receivers coach Chad O’Shea that the Patriots had just run their best drive. Edelman had two catches for 40 yards on the 65-yard drive, but the receiver clearly wasn’t satisfied.
“Hey, know what’s the best drive?” Edelman said to O’Shea. “Know what’s the best drive? The next drive.”
–Colts defensive end Cory Redding was also mic’d up for the game, and he showed off his confidence at one point when he turned to the camera and said, “Don’t they know we’re a second-half team?”
The Colts were outscored 22-10 in the second half.
–After LeGarrette Blount broke a 73-yard touchdown run, Stevan Ridley — thought to be the speediest back on the team — had to give respect to the big man’s speed.
“I still wanna see you in the 40, but you got that. On the game field, you got that right now,” Ridley said to Blount. “I like your game speed.”
—Behind Bill Belichick, the most-respected coach on the Patriots staff might be Dante Scarnecchia. He’s in his fifth decade as a football coach, and he’s been with the Patriots since 1991, after a stint with the team from 1982-88. He’s been in charge of the offensive line since ’99, and he’s seen just about everything there is to see on a football field.
So Andrew Luck, despite a four-interception night, could at least take some solace in these words of encouragement from Scarnecchia after the game.
“You’ll be a champion in this league some day,” Scarnecchia told Luck. “I really believe that.”