PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY'S WEDNESDAY MEDIA SESSION* *
Q:** Can you talk about Cincinnati who is playing well right now?
TB: They are 6-6, but they have won four of their last five. It was a huge win for them last week in Baltimore. Coach read a quote from Willie Anderson that said it was the biggest win since he has been there. You kind of get the feeling that their whole season is ahead of them. This is a good week for them to come in and try to prove something. We are going to do everything we can this week to stop them from doing that.
Q:** Being able to take care of the ball is very important against these guys.
TB:They have forced something like 31 fumbles or something like that and they have a bunch of interceptions. It is kind of a ball-stripping, ball-hawking defense and we are going to have to be on top of our game this week to try to eliminate those. That is something that has been coming up for us too much, being we turn the ball over. Any time you turn the ball over, eventually it is going to get the best of you. That will be a point of concern for us this week.
Q:** Have you had to settle into a different mentality with having Corey [Dillon] in the backfield? You seem to be a more run-first team than in the past.
TB:It proves when you get it to him the type of things that can happen. You control the clock. It seems every time we give it to him, there are positives things happening. There is a good reason why we are giving it to him. I'm glad it has been consistent. I think the offensive line has done a great job of getting on their blockers and giving Corey a chance to hit it up in there and gain some yards and he has done a great job of doing that.
Q:** Does that kind your rhythm though? In years past it has been you coming out and throwing all the time and you settle into a rhythm right away.
TB:It is different. I'm sure it is different to watch. It is different to play. I think our record speaks for itself. When you are 11-1, we are doing the things to try to win. The idea of this game is to win and score more points. Whether you throw it or run it, being 11-1 I think we all feel pretty good about where we are at.
Q:** Would you like the passing game to be more consistent though?
TB:We can always get better. There are plenty of things to improve on. I think that is what we are going out and trying to do in practice each day. Some weeks it shows up better than others, the type of improvement we are making and sometimes you take a step back. We are just going to continue to go out and try to work at it.
Q:** Corey Dillon said after the game on Sunday that Cincinnati was just another game and he didn't want to talk about it. Do you think in the back of his mind it is a little more important than that?
TB:I'm sure he is excited. I'm sure any time you play against one of your former teams, you are excited, but he spoke for himself. I don't want to go speaking for him. This is a big week for us as a team. We are coming down the stretch. We are in the last quarter of the season and each week is more important than the previous. This week is no different, especially getting a team that is very talented and very good.
Q:** They put up 31 points against the team in the preseason. Is that something that you guys haven't forgotten?
TB: No. Anyone who played in that game, I don't think you forget the feelings of getting it handed to you pretty good and they did. They took it to us in every aspect of the game. We are going to need to play a lot better than we played that day. Hopefully they see a better team than they saw in the preseason. Hopefully it is more of a game for them. We are playing at home and we are excited about that. We just have to go out and play the best we can play.
Q:** How do you stop getting ahead? You know that teams in the hunt right now and you are thinking playoffs, but you really can focus on them.
TB:I think you realize each week, the guys that have played multiple years will tell you you can get beat any week. If you go out and play the way that you are capable and you don't go out and put out your best performance than you can lose very, very easily, especially playing against a team like this. There is no reason ever to look too far forward. You should really look to the team you are playing and that's it. This team has done a good job of that and hopefully we continue to do that because it has worked pretty well for us. There is no reason to change now. We have won a bunch of games just focusing on the team we have ahead of us.
Q:** Can you put in words what it is like to have a media gathering like this with everyone jammed in at your locker?
TB:It is like a mosh pit. If you turn on the music, it could get pretty nasty in here.
Q:** Can you talk about your Sportsman of the Year from The Sporting News?
TB: It is a great award and a great honor. I was very flattered when I heard some of the great athletes that I looked up to that have won the award.
Q:** With the award comes some attention. Do you ever wish sometimes you didn't get the spotlight that you get?
TB: I think there is a portion of that. The reason why you win awards like that is because you are a part of a great team. In this sport, playing quarterback, it is about what you can accomplish with the guys around you. It never comes back to one player. Anybody that thinks that is what it comes back to doesn't know this game very well at all. I share that with a bunch of guys and I think we are all proud of that but it also comes from winning games too. If you are 1-15, you don't win anything. Hopefully each of us can continue to go out and play at a championship level and see what we can do.