The Denver radio market could probably not have imagined a better week than this. Not only did Tim Tebow help lead the Broncos to an improbable overtime playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but that victory has now set up a meeting with the Patriots, Tom Brady and former coach Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels, who was fired after 12 games last season, just signed on as an offensive assistant for the New England Patriots. Bill O’Brien who took the job at Penn State will stay on as the Patriots offensive coordinator for the remainder of the playoffs and then McDaniels will likely take over as the OC next season.
Tom Brady joined WEEI in Boston with Dennis and Callahan to discuss the Tim Tebow phenomenon, working with McDaniels again, comparing O’Brien and McDaniels, O’Brien taking the Penn State gig, the last meeting a few weeks ago with Denver, how this year’s Patriots team compares to last year’s and McDaniels’ inside information on the Broncos.
What do you make of the Tim Tebow phenomenon?:
“He’s a good player, and I think it’s a lot for the defense to prepare for. I know in our preparations for him this last time, it’s a challenge. It’s a very different style. But they’re very effective. They have a very good team. It’s certainly not about one player on this team. I know a lot of people make it out to be one player on a lot of teams, but the reason why the Denver Broncos are in this position is because of their team as a whole. Certainly, the way that Tim played yesterday, it was just a great win all around by them.”
Is it going to be weird working with Josh McDaniels again?:
“I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out. Josh is a great friend of mine. And obviously, the familiarity we have with Josh is something that’s great. We’ll see how it works this year, and going forward. It’s always great to have another great coach on our staff. He’s certainly a great coach and has been. I’ve always enjoyed my time with him, as our quarterback coach in ’04 all the way to when he left to be the head coach of the Broncos.”
How are McDaniels and Bill O’Brien similar or different?:
“I think they both have a great understanding of our offense and what we’re trying to do. And Billy worked with Josh. They’re great friends. How their styles differ; it’s the same offense. What we’ve done since Charlie [Weis] was here is pretty much the same offense. And I’ve been lucky to be in the same system for 12 years. There’s different wrinkles that different coaches have. But Josh and Billy always worked really close together.”
Are you surprised O’Brien took the Penn State job?:
“I think it’s a great opportunity for a very deserving coach. He’s worked his tail off for a long time to get an opportunity. We’re all competitive. If you’re a backup quarterback, you want to be a starting quarterback some day. And I think that probably goes the same for a lot of coaches. You want to get your opportunity to be a [head] coach.”
What do you remember about the meeting a few weeks ago with Denver and Aaron Hernandez’s big game?:
“Aaron had a great game. I think the thing about our offense is I’m going to just try to find the open guy. Wes, he had four catches; this week he may have 15. And Gronk may have 15. You just never know. We’re going to try to spread it around to different guys and make them cover the whole field, make them cover everybody. Chad [Ochocinco] caught a touchdown pass, his first touchdown pass, the last game. He had some other opportunities in the game to catch passes. … It’s just a matter of who they’re trying cover and what they’re trying to defend, where the coverage is packed.”
On comparing this team to the one last year:
“We’ve done it more on a consistent basis. We definitely have put ourselves in a position — I mean, 13-3 is a very respectable record. Last year we were 14-2. It was a very different team last year. The strengths of this team are different than they were last year. How it all plays out? It depends on how we play. There’s nothing that happened last week or last year or five years ago or 10 years ago that can play into this game. If we bring a good attitude, if we’re committed this week — which I know we will be — then we’re going to go out there and be ready to play our best game.”
Do you think McDaniels can provide some inside information since he coached the Broncos last year?:
“That’s a great question. He obviously has some inside information on that team and those players, as he coached them. I haven’t seen Josh yet, so I really don’t know. I think coach Belichick has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to want Josh to do. I talked to Josh briefly but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down with him. He’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him. I’m excited to get back to work with him. How that plays into this week, we’ll see. We’ll try to figure that out here in the next five or six days.”