In case you missed it, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien got in a late-game shouting match following a rare late-game interception in the end zone that gave the Washington Redskins an opportunity to come back. The Redskins couldn’t capitalize, but the real story became more about the argument, in which players and coaches had to step in between the player and coach to make sure it ended.
Brady says it was all about the heat of the moment and that, actually, he’s glad O’Brien yelled at him. Brady says some coaches wouldn’t yell at veteran players, so he’s happy O’Brien isn’t one of those guys.
Tom Brady joined WEEI in Boston with Dennis & Callahan to discuss the argument, the late-game interception, who would win in a fight between he and O’Brien, the interception, all the eyes on him during times like the argument, the play of Rob Gronkowski and the upcoming game with Denver.
When you got into the shouting match with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, it seemed like you were really mad early and he was really mad late:
“When things don’t go so well, we’re both very emotional people. … Everyone gets frustrated and there’s different ways that we express our frustration. When I make a play like that at the end of the game, it’s not what he expects or any player or coach expects and that’s just part of the game. He and I have a great relationship. I love that he feels that he can coach me and I think that’s something, as a veteran player, that you maybe don’t get a lot from coaches. … You can [be yelled at] and you should.”
On leaving points on the field:
“We had a lot of opportunities in the red area. … We just didn’t take advantage of them. It’s pretty uncharacteristic, all of those plays, just not being able to connect like we did. But that’s part of why we practice.”
If you and Bill would have truly fought, who would have won?:
“Billy and I have a great relationship, so I think that’s just that thing on both of our parts. I get on guys all the time. It’s a way to try to get guys to respond. Our team needs a lot of fire, needs a lot of emotion.”
On the interception:
“The quarterback, I’m responsible for taking care of the football. When you’re the quarterback you hold the ball on every play and, really, the fate of the whole team rests in your hands and you’ve got to be able to make great decisions with the ball. If you don’t, your team’s going to struggle. Really, I take that responsibility very seriously and when I make bad plays, I made bad plays. … I felt awful after the game to be able to put our team in that position.”
Do you realize just how many people are watching your every move? Like when you’re having the argument on the sidelines, do you realize how many people tried to read your lips?:
“Hopefully my mom wasn’t trying to read my lips. It’s so emotional and when you get caught up in a game like that and the tension’s riding high and there is pressure on every play, that’s what happens. Certainly, when I miss plays and miss throws that really could help us take control of the game, I get very frustrated. That frustration comes out in different ways. We, as a team, these are the only guys we’ve got … and those are the guys I have a ton of confidence in.”
What does Rob Gronkowski — who set the tight end record for touchdowns in a season Sunday — do that surprises even you?:
“I think everything. The thing that I’ve been most impressed with him is, since the day he got here, he’s trended upwards every day. He never really makes the same mistake twice. As a young player, you have a lot of good plays and you have a lot of bad plays just because you have a lot of experience. … He’s never really regressed. … His physical skill obviously puts him in a great position to make a lot of catches and make a lot of runs … but I really think it’s his professionalism and his ability to continue to improve and get better.”
Does playing in Denver at altitude provide more of a physical or mental challenge?:
“The years that I’ve played out there, maybe the first five minutes of the game, you feel a little bit of the mile-high air, but after that it’s football. They’re playing very well; obviously they’ve won a bunch of games here. … They obviously have a very good team, play for 60 minutes, have obviously closed a lot of games and finished well. We have a huge test.”