Curran: Brady seems to know engine's running too hot

Curran: Brady seems to know engine's running too hot
December 11, 2011, 10:50 pm
Share This Post

LANDOVER, Md. - Things got heated on the Patriots' sideline Sunday afternoon. Check it out one more time here. The play that precipitated the uncommon explosion was an end-zone pick thrown by Tom Brady with 6:37 remaining and the Patriots ahead, 34-27. Brady, looking to Tiquan Underwood running the back line of the end zone, floated a third-and-goal pass from the 4-yard line that was snatched by Josh Wilson. So the Patriots, with a chance to go up two scores, now had to hang on. Ultimately, they did. But the next six minutes were hairy on the field and hot off of it. Brady, seated on the bench, seemed to tell Underwood that he needed to go get the ball. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien disgustedly seemed to tell Brady it wasn't Underwood's fault. Brady fired back at O'Brien, O'Brien peeled off his headphones and gestured at the field, Brady fired back again and then backup quarterback Brian Hoyer stepped between the men to cool things. Didn't work. O'Brien circled back again and then receivers coach Chad O'Shea and head coach Bill Belichick stepped in. So what happened?"I threw a pretty bad interception so he wasn't happy about it," Brady explained. "It was probably a long line of coaches and players that were pretty pissed at me after that, but Billy got to me first and he let me have it. I deserved it . . .
"We're both pretty emotional guys," Brady said. "That's what I deserve. You make bad plays, you're supposed to get yelled at by your coaches. Certainly not the first time and probably won't be the last. Can't do it in that situation and it was just a stupid play by me."In the locker room, Hoyer asked if the scene had been caught on camera. When toldthat it had,Hoyer said that the coach and quarterback were "hugging each other" a few minutes later. Regardless if that was hyperbole,Brady andO'Brien did sit andlook at defensive photos together within minutes of the dustup. Brady was wise to not escalate the O'Brien confrontation by getting to his feet because then it would have almost certainly gone from verbal to physical. Brady seemed to have an edge to him on the field all game. His tendency to upbraid receivers openlyin recent years - a departure from earlier in his career - was in full flower as he went at Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and showed disgust with a BenJarvus Green-Ellis drop. It seems to be a trait great quarterbacks develop later in their careers. Theyare evolved in reading defenses. They have the luxury of standing back and watching a play develop from a clearer vantage point than a receiver running a route with a defensive back on him. A decision that seems clear to a player like Brady may not be so clear to a player like Hernandez or Underwood. Brady's engine runs exceptionally hot and that's what makes him great. He's driven. But he's starting to toe the line of showing up teammates too often. Given Brady seemed pretty chastened after the game, it will be interesting to see if he taps the brakes and returns to using a more gentle hand with his receivers. He certainly was sounding a little more introspective. Yelling happens. Arguments happen. With expletives. And accusations. A football sideline isn't a normal office and nobody's running to HR. "It's football, man. It's emotion. That's athletics," Brady explained.
The difference is that it's a scene rarely seen on the Patriots' sideline.