BOSTON (CBS) — Given their nearly 20-year run of success, the Patriots have heard plenty of detractors outside of New England.
Veteran players are used to hearing that outside noise, and they’ve been trained well to ignore it. They know they’ll be asked about it, and even if they do give out more than a “no comment” or “it is what it is”, it certainly won’t be on their minds when it comes time for kickoff.
As salacious as last week’s ESPN article was, that outside noise won’t be a distraction for the Patriots when their AFC Divisional Round clash with the Titans finally arrives on Saturday evening. New England is rested after their postseason bye, eager to start what they hope is another Super Bowl run. They know it all starts with the Titans, so that is all they want to discuss at the moment.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who was attacked quite a bit in Seth Wickersham’s article, already dismissed much of what was written ahead of his Thursday press conference at Gillette Stadium. He’s also fairly used to being in the spotlight, whether it’s in a positive or negative light, so it’s going to take more than claims that he’s a little crabby over not being named Patriot of the Week to throw him off his game.
As always, Brady said that he and his teammates are focused on football and nothing else ahead of Saturday’s postseason matchup.
“We do what we always do; show up to work and try to do the best we can do. There is a lot at stake and everyone has put a lot into it. It doesn’t really matter what happens outside of this facility,” he said. “It’s a big task to go out and win a playoff game. We’re playing against a good team and I’m glad we’ve earned a chance to be here to do it. We just have to go out and take care of business.”
Business right now is the Titans, so it was a little odd when it was announced earlier this week that Facebook is releasing a six-part documentary about Brady and his personal life — both in and out of football. It was no surprise, however, that Brady sidestepped questions it on Thursday.
“We’re two days away from the biggest game of the year,” Brady responded.
Though Marcus Mariota and the Titans are coming off an impressive comeback win over the Chiefs in Kansas City in the Wild Card round, they come to Gillette heavy underdogs to pull off another upset. Brady will be looking to add to his 25 postseason wins, while Mariota will looking for just his second. The Titans QB was just six years old when Brady made his postseason debut, so yeah, experience is on New England’s side.
But Brady says none of that will matter on Saturday night.
“It comes down to how well you play. At the end of the day it’s not the old guys are going to win or the young guys are going to win. It comes down to execution. No one is going to do it for you,” said Brady. “You have to go out and make the plays; make the tackles, the throws, the runs, the blocks. Whoever does that better is going to win the game. All these play matter, so we have to go out there and make sure every one of them counts.”
Tune in to Saturday night’s Patriots-Titans AFC Divisional Round game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins with a special Patriots GameDay at 7pm, and after the game stick with WBZ-TV for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!