Brady: Self-evaluation on tap for bye week

Brady: Self-evaluation on tap for bye week
November 4, 2013, 11:45 am
Share This Post

If you watched the Patriots post a crooked number against the Steelers on Sunday and thought to yourself, "This is what I've been waiting for," you weren't alone.

Tom Brady told WEEI's Dennis and Callahan Show that Sunday's 55-31 win felt like the first time this fall that everything clicked offensively.

“It was just one of those days where everything kind of worked out the way that we hoped it would,” Brady said. “It really hasn’t gone like that all season for us. It was really a great time for it to happen. Hopefully we can gain some confidence, and going forward we can really understand we can be that type of team that can make big plays, that runs the ball well, that can chew up the clock, be a ball-possession team if we need it."

Brady finished with 432 yards passing and four touchdowns without an interception, easily his best performance of the season, and one of the best of his career.

Having tight end Rob Gronkowski on the field for the third straight week played a big part in New England's gaudy output, Brady explained.

“He’s one of the best players in the NFL,” Brady said. “We really haven’t had him for a long time, and we’ve learned to play without him. But it’s obvious, when he’s in there he adds a different element to what we’re trying to do. That’s why he’s such a good player.

“He worked really hard to get back to this point. After he’s got a few games under him and he’s got his football legs back, hopefully he can continue to do it. It was a big spark for us yesterday. He really came out making some really great plays on third down, some drive-starters where we got things going into the drive."

And what Gronkowski did for his teammates in the way of attracting coverage allowed him to make an impact even when he wasn't catching the ball.

"He’s a tough matchup because of his quickness and his strength and his size," Brady said. "He’s tough to cover. And when the extra coverage goes to him, it means there’s less coverage on the other guys, which frees them up.”

Brady and the Patriots now go into their bye week at 7-2. And though there will be time for rest and relaxation, the Patriots quarterback knows he's not going into an extended vacation.

“It’s nice to get away for the mental and physical break," he said. "I’m not sure what we’re going to do. But there’s a lot of football going on still at this point. It’s not like it’s a holiday. There’s a lot of self-evaluation that you do, and trying to get ahead on Carolina, trying to get ahead on the rest of the schedule. There’s quite a bit to do, and I’m excited about doing that. It will be good to evaluate kind of where we’re at and where we can get better. Now that we can get to the things that we’ve been consistently good at, and stop doing the things that we’ve been consistently bad at over the last nine weeks. It’s come at a good time of year for our team. Hopefully we can get healthy and be at our best here come November and December.”

On Sunday, with Gronkowski and Danny Amendola both available, the Patriots looked to be as close to full-health on the offensive side of the ball as they have been all season. Against the Panthers in Week 11, they will have a chance to get one more weapon back into the fold as Shane Vereen is scheduled to be available off of short-term injured reserve.

Brady's looking forward to having something close to a full complement of skill position players sometime soon.

"I think that's what we all looked forward to," Brady said. "We all knew at the beginning part of the season there were going to be some growing pains based on Gronk being out, and Danny getting injured in Week 1, Shane getting injured in Week 1, we said, 'OK, we're going to have to figure out ways to win these games.' And we kind of did that for the most part. We had a few opportunities where we didn't win, but we still had a chance. And now we get some guys that we're really counting on to be big parts of our offense."