BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots are 9-1, but Tom Brady is a frustrated man. The quarterback was extremely annoyed during his postgame press conference following New England’s 17-10 win over the Eagles on Sunday, vexed at the New England offense’s inability to score points this season.
Bill Belichick gave the team the day off on Monday, but Brady was one of the many players to hit the facilities at Gillette Stadium. That extra work must have put Brady in a better mood, because he wasn’t as grouchy when he joined Jim Gray for his weekly interview on Westwood One on Monday night.
Much of Brady’s frustrations come from the team’s inability to score points in the red zone. The Patriots were just 1-for-3 in the red area on Sunday, and 0-for-1 in goal-to-go situations. They also aren’t taking advantage of the short fields that their dominant defense have been given them, which has added to Brady’s irritation.
“I’ve said we’ve got to take advantage when we get opportunities in short fields. We had a few of those and really didn’t, and those are the ones that probably frustrate me the most,” Brady said Monday night. “I think when you get the ball on the 50-yard line a couple of times and don’t do anything with it, those are the frustrating ones. It’s one thing when you’re backed up on your own 5-yard line all day, and we haven’t had many of those. But there are some times that we’re getting great field position, the defense is putting us in great field position, and we’re not taking advantage of our opportunities.”
Gray (completely on his own, we’re sure) relayed some of the talking points in the media stemming from the offense’s struggles — the Patriots have no speed, no threats, a bad offensive line, and not much around Brady — and asked the quarterback how he can break through all these frustrations.
“Look, everyone thinks they analyze every game and they know everything that’s going on. We talk about ignoring the noise, and there’s a lot of noise,” said Brady. “When you play great, you’re the best team in the world. When you play bad, you’re the worst team in the world and you can’t beat anyone. And that’s just riding the roller coaster of emotions. We have a lot of good players on our team and we’re trying to excel. We’re trying to play at a very high level. I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet, and I’ll be excited when we do.”
Brady continues to hammer home that the offense is still learning to play with each other, with new additions like Mohamed Sanu and rookie N’Keal Harry in his receiving corps, not to mention a completely different offensive line than the one that dominated late last season.
“We’ve had a lot of things happen over the course of the year, as every team has, dealing with different players and getting familiar with different things. That’s the challenge of the NFL season,” he said. “I know everyone has predictions and power rankings, and that’s fine. It covers a lot of ground over the course of the week. We have to stay focused on what our task is. We have a very tough matchup against Dallas, who is coming in playing very well. Hopefully we play better than we did last week. That’s where the optimism is for me.”
Brady didn’t throw a touchdown Sunday for the third time this year, and some view him as a “game manager” in his 20th NFL season. Brady scoffed at that notion, saying the offense is far from a finished product at this point.
“I’d like to see us reach our potential as an offense. Like I said, I don’t think we’ve got there yet,” said Brady. “And we’re only 10 games into the year and we’ve got a lot of football to play. That’s what we’re working towards. I don’t think any team is really a finished product. As critical as we can be of our team at times, we’re still in a good position. We’re 9-1, and that’s a good place to be this time of year. It’s not perfect. It’s not as bad as the worst teams in the league. But we’ve got an opportunity ahead of us that we’re going to try to take advantage of.
“I’m going to try to play the best I possibly can. I’m going to try to motivate my teammates as best as I possibly can, and we’re going to try to go out there and put our best performance on the field Sunday against Dallas,” said the quarterback.