FOXBORO (CBS) — Tom Brady may be playing his final game at Gillette Stadium as a member of the Patriots on Saturday night. He also might be suiting up for New England for the next three years. Nobody — perhaps even Brady himself — quite knows.
Whether or not Brady returns to Gillette in the future, either as a Patriot or a visitor, is not on the 42-year-old quarterback’s mind, though, as he prepares for a wild-card meeting against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.
“I’m not much for nostalgia,” Brady said Thursday when asked about the possibility. “I’m just pretty focused on what I need to do. This week’s felt pretty much like every other week for the last 20 years. Just focused on what I need to do.”
Brady was asked later if he lets his mind wander at all into the possibility of his Foxboro career coming to an end.
“I haven’t thought about those things. I wouldn’t be thinking about those things anyway,” Brady reiterated. “It’s felt like a normal week for me, so I just approached practice like I always have and try to do the best I could do. So that’s what I’m gonna try to do as well.”
Brady and the Patriots are coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Dolphins in Week 7, a loss that forced them to play on wild-card weekend instead of getting the first-round bye and the No. 2 playoff seed in the AFC. Brady completed just 16 of 29 passes for 221 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, which was returned for a back-breaking touchdown.
Brady said he’s avoided hearing from the media since that loss.
“I haven’t turned the TV on. It’s probably not best after we lose to turn the TV on and listen to all your guys’ shows and stuff like that,” Brady said. “Probably weren’t too many great things happening. So I tried to lay low this week.”
Brady also showed off his superstitious side when asked about the white cleats he wore last week.
“I don’t think the white shoes are going to make it this week,” Brady said. “I think I’m going to put those back to bed. They’re not making the cut for the biggest game of the year. So I’m back to my dark-colored shoes.”
When asked how the Patriots plan to attack the Titans, Brady stressed two areas: Not taking anything for granted, and staying together.
“A lot of plays come up over the years when I think about playoff football. And if you’re on the wrong end of one of them, it’s your season. And if you’re on the right end, you move on. You don’t know which plays those are going to be, and you can’t take anything for granted. So guys are working hard and trying to do the right thing,” Brady said. “They’re going to force us to really be tied together. I mean, when we’re not and when we haven’t been this year, we haven’t looked very good. And when we have been tied together, it looks pretty good. Everyone being on the same page and working together and anticipating and confidence and all those things play into it. It’s kind of where it’s been this week.”
Brady will enter Saturday’s game having played 40 playoff games in his career. He’s led the Patriots to wins 30 times, 14 more than Joe Montana, who ranks second all time with 16 postseason victories. When told that his 30 playoff wins are more than the 26 combined playoff wins of the other 11 playoff quarterbacks this postseason, Brady replied, “That pretty good? Pretty good.”
He also said that the lengthy playoff resume won’t help come Saturday night.
“As much as all of those other games were great to be a part of, they’re not going to help us win this game,” Brady explained. “This game will be determined by the guys that are out there. And 60 minutes of football on offense, defense and special teams. Playing a great complementary game. Both teams have talked about being physical. So there’s nothing from the past that matters. I mean obviously knowing what to expect can be a little bit helpful if you use the experience wisely. But it’s not going to help me complete a pass this weekend. I think what’s going to help me complete a pass is making the right read against the right coverage and throwing it to the guy I feel like gives us the best chance to win.”
Brady added: “We all have a lot of games that we played. But at the same time, playing good football will surpass all those things. Playing with each other, all of us communicating the right way, playing hard, playing physical, and not taking anything for granted out there, and not knowing which play is going to make a difference in the game. Like I said, a lot of these games that we’ve played in have come down to the very end.”
Tune in to Saturday’s Patriots-Titans Wild Card showdown on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!