Brady: Fourth quarter vs. Chiefs sparked 'attitude' comments

Brady: Fourth quarter vs. Chiefs sparked 'attitude' comments

Tom Brady felt like the Patriots played competitively for three quarters in their season-opener against the Chiefs. But the fourth quarter bothered him. 

That's when the Patriots had a shot to make a stand down one with about nine minutes left, come back, do . . . something, but they couldn't. There was a breezy 60-yard drive that ended in a Chiefs score. There was a Patriots three-and-out. There was a two-play Chiefs scoring drive. Then another Patriots three-and-out. Even with the game seemingly out of reach, the Patriots helped the Chiefs put it away with a too-many-men penalty that made a third down more manageable with 2:33 left. 

It irked Brady. He called out his teammates for their attitude and their competitiveness, and he didn't back down from those comments in speaking with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday. 

"I just felt like we needed to be better in a lot of areas," Brady said. "We played pretty competitively for three quarters and it just got away from us in the fourth quarter. Everyone's had a chance to kind of think about the game and think about what they need to do better . . . 

"It's execution, it's attitude, it's competitiveness, it's urgency. It's everything."

Brady was asked if perhaps getting an early loss out of the way might benefit the Patriots. In three seasons under Bill Belichick, they've lost their opener. And in those three seasons, they wen't on to win the Super Bowl -- including in 2014 when they had a slow first month, going 2-2 before turning things around. 

Brady hesitated to say any loss is a good loss. 

"I wouldn't say so. Anytime you lose I don't think it's a great thing," he said. "I think you can learn a lot from every game. There's definitely some losses you learn more from because you're critical in areas where maybe you wouldn't have been critical had you won. [Maybe] the emotion of a game, the emotion of a win wouldn't allow you to critically anaylze something the way you would when you lose."

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Even before the Super Bowl LI banner dropped and the Chiefs arrived to New England, there was a great deal said about just how talented this year's Patriots team might be. On paper, it looked like one of the best Belichick had ever had. Had some of the coverage gotten to players, particularly some of the newer ones? 

It sounded like Brady wasn't ruling it out. 

"It's just one of the challenges of a football season," he said. "Mental toughness is a real thing, and you've gotta be mentally tough enough to put aside the good things people say and the bad things people say. It's a roller coaster of emotions, and if you get involved in that roller coaster it's probably more challenging."

Brady said that the Patriots would meet as a team on Monday and collectively put the Chiefs loss behind them. In other words, they're on to New Orleans. 

"It's probably easier [to get over a loss] when you're getting right back to work," Brady said. "It actually kind of sucks having three extra days to think about it, having to re-watch the game . . . I've kind of moved onto the next team, but we haven't really done that formally as a team. We'll do that today. It kind of sits with us a little bit longer. Maybe it's good to sit with us longer. It allows us to evaluate and nit-pick and so forth."

Here are a few more quotes of note from Brady's weekly radio interview with WEEI . . . 

On missing Julian Edelman: "We'll feel that all year. He's just one of those types of players. I think Danny [Amendola] was obviously having a great game, then he was out, and Malcolm [Mitchell], worked a lot with him, he was out. I think it's about consistency, dependability. That's the challenge of the football season. You wish you'd be in midseason form, but you got a lot of new people you're working with, and you've gotta develop trust and create this urgency. They have to get to understand me, I have to get to understand them. The backs have to understand the line and vice versa. It's always a little bit of a challenge. That's what we're working hard to get everyone up to speed on."

On Phillip Dorsett's role moving forward: "I'm sure he's obviously gonna play a bigger role. It's just a matter of how much practice time we have and getting up to speed and trusting one another and so forth. It is challenging getting a guy at that final cut because they've been working with another team for four or five months and then they do things differently from the way we do them . . . We're gonna have to work together and spend extra time. If he's gonna play a significant role, I have to have the trust in him and we've gotta go out there and do it together."

On if he's proud his teammates stand for the anthem: "I don't really pay attention to that. Probably a lot of things for me to think about that time. I don't think about that much."

On if he has a good relationship with Colin Kaepernick: "I don't know Colin very well at all. I've never really had a conversation with him."

On if he sees himself in broadcasting after retirement, like Tony Romo: "No. I can be sure of that . . . That's never something I've been that interested in."

On Drew Brees: "He's an incredible player. He loves the game, he loves the sport. He's been so good for a long time. I've got a lot of respect for him. Know a lot of guys who know him, I don't know him that well, but they all say great things about him. He's been so consistent over a long period of time. That's what great players do and he's certainly one of them."

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Belichick describes UDFA strategy: Be honest with the plan, give them a shot

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Belichick describes UDFA strategy: Be honest with the plan, give them a shot

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have had a number of undrafted rookies arrive to New England and have success. Malcolm Butler is an obvious example. Same goes for newly-named captain of the offensive line David Andrews. Last year it was Jonathan Jones who made an impact as an undrafted player out of Auburn. This year defensive lineman Adam Butler is leading the charge among a trio of undrafted rookies who've made the club.

Why is Bill Belichick's club able to land players who weren't drafted but still may be coveted around the league? How do successfully find players who fit?

That they're willing to pay doesn't hurt. They shelled out a significant amount of cash for linebacker Harvey Langi and tight end Jacob Hollister after this year's draft, both of whom made the 53-man roster out of training camp. 

But the other parts of the formula are reasonably straight-forward, and Belichick explained them on Wednesday: Have a consistent message, be honest with players before they arrive, then give them a chance. 

"I know I've talked to other players, we all have, that have been at other teams, other organizations," Belichick said, "and a lot of times the player will make comments along the lines of, 'My coach wanted me to do this, but my coordinator wanted me to do that, or my coordinator wanted me to do this, but my coach wanted me to do that. Or a personnel guy drafted me to do this, but the coach wanted me to play this way, or somewhere else. Sometimes within an organization or within a team between the head coach, the coordinator, the position coach, personnel, scout director, GM, whatever -- sometimes, whether that's in college or in the NFL -- sometimes it's not a totally consistent message.

"One of the things I tell the players is that whatever message I'm giving you, that's the way it's going to be. That collectively as a staff and as the head coach, we're gonna all be on the same page. Whatever it is I'm telling you, whatever it is the position coach is telling you, we've already talked about that and it's gonna be consistent. I think if you have any questions about it, there's always somebody who can verify it, be it another player or another coach or another somebody that that person knows that that player knows or his representatives or somebody that can verify that, yeah, that's the way it was in these other examples that we can usually cite based on our longevity.

"I just believe in being honest with a player. If it's not what he wants to hear, then that's OK. Then we're both probably better off with a different decision. I'd want to hear from the player, how he really feels, not him trying to sell me something because that doesn't really help us either. Guy tells you something and that's not really what it is, and it doesn't work out, then that's sometimes probably why it doesn't work out. I try to be as honest as I can with a player.

"Sometimes things change. If that happens, I'll tell the player that. 'This is what we brought you here for, this is what we want you to do, but look here's the situation we're in now so we need for you to move and do something differently than what we talked about. I'll tell the player that. That comes up from time to time because that's -- we're not really being dishonest about that. That was my intent with the player. But because of circumstances, that may change, and I want to do what's best for the team.

"Most of the time I'm able to tell the guy pretty clearly what we envision him coming in as and what the opportunity will be and that it'll be up to him to compete in that situation and make the most out of the opportunity. If that's him doing it or somebody else doing it, I can't control that. I can't control performance. I can just control opportunity and situation to a degree. Then from there it's up to the player. But that's how I've always tried to do it."

Take Adam Butler as an example. Belichick met with Butler at Vanderbilt and liked what he saw. He couldn't guarantee a spot for Butler if he ended up with the Patriots, but he told him what he liked about Butler's game -- namely, his versatility -- and how it might work out. 

It has worked out, as Butler has played 45 snaps against the Saints, which was second among Patriots defensive linemen behind only Trey Flowers. 

"When Adam and I were at Vanderbilt and we met down there, that's one of the things we talked about. That's one of the reason we were interested in him was his versatility," Belichick explained. "When he wasn't drafted, we had a conversation on the phone about signing here after the draft, we talked about that again, about how his versatility would be a big attribute for him coming here if he could make that work, which I'd say he has to a degree. That's one of his strengths.

"He did it at Vanderbilt. I saw that when we watched film. We went through his different roles in the defense, in regular and in sub. I thought he explained them very well to me, he had a very good understanding of how he was playing when he was on the nose, on the guard, as a 5-technique in their 3-4 defense and so forth. How it changed and what he needed to do differently and how he would adapt his technique or his read based on the different positions.

"It was clear to me he had a very good understanding of that. He's been able to do that here as well. Not perfectly by any means, but good and getting better. That's been a big asset for him is being able to do different things for us: play inside and outside, and run situations and pass situations, and run games and so forth. We've given him a lot. He's been able to handle it."

It sounds like the opportunities will continue to come for Butler so long as he continues to earn them. As was the case with Malcolm Butler, David Andrews and Jonathan Jones before him.

Hard to argue with the formula.

Brady wins 28th AFC Offensive Player of Week award, breaking tie with Manning

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Brady wins 28th AFC Offensive Player of Week award, breaking tie with Manning

Tom Brady helped the Patriots bounce back from a Week 1 loss at the hands of the Chiefs by completing 76 percent of his passes and throwing for three touchdowns in the first quarter -- the first time he'd ever accomplished such a feat. He ended up with a 139 quarterback rating, and on Wednesday he was handed the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week award. 

It's the 28th time Brady's received the award, breaking his tie with Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history. Brady went 30-for-39 passes for 447 yards and recorded his 52nd game with three or more touchdowns and no interceptions, which broke another tie with Manning. 

Not a bad day for Brady whose book "The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance" has already reached the top of the best-sellers list on Amazon.com

Still needs his coach to pick up a copy, though.