Brady remembers sideline spat with O'Brien: 'He kind of let me have it'

Brady remembers sideline spat with O'Brien: 'He kind of let me have it'

Bill O'Brien spent five years with the Patriots, including two as the quarterbacks coach (2009-10) and one as the offensive coordinator (2011). But what he may be most remembered for in New England is one particularly fiery sideline spat with Tom Brady

It was a "Teapot" moment for the Texans coach, who will re-visit Gillette Stadium on Saturday for the Divisional Round of the playoffs. That's what Brady and backup Brian Hoyer nicknamed O'Brien for his quick temper, and it would be hard to imagine a moment when O'Brien was hotter than in the fourth quarter of a 2011 win over the Redskins. 

The Patriots were up a touchdown and knocking on the door to score again when Brady was picked off in the end zone. When he got back to the sideline, Brady told intended receiver Tiquan Underwood that he had to make a better effort to come back to the football since he had been under-cut.

But when O'Brien saw Brady talking to Underwood, he unloaded. Perhaps it was because he didn't like Brady's throw. Perhaps it was because Brady missed Wes Welker for an easy touchdown on the play before, throwing behind his wide open slot receiver. 

Either way, Brady and O'Brien then engaged in a shouting match that required Hoyer, receivers coach Chad O'Shea and head coach Bill Belichick to break it up. 

"He kind of let me have it. I deserved it," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan show. "It was kind of a dumb throw. I deserved it. I kind of chirped back, and he didn't like it. I was kind of fiery at the time, too.

"We cooled off pretty quick. That's Billy's style. Billy's gonna let you know if he doesn't like something that you did. He handles it in the right way, in a way that you really respected. You know he's fiery, you know he just wants to get the job done. We cooled off. We ended up winning the game [when] Jerod Mayo made a great interception to end that game. By the time we got to the locker room we were good.

"There are a lot of emotions in this game. You wear them on your sleeve, and sometimes you just fire off. That's just the way it goes."

Brady said he remains friends with O'Brien and that they touch base from time to time. By putting in the "grunt work" of a lower-level assistant and quickly working his way up the coaching ranks in New England, O'Brien earned Brady's trust and respect. 

Though he generally roots for O'Brien's success, that stops this week as the two prepare to face off later this week with their seasons on the line. It will be the second time O'Brien has been to Gillette Stadium this season with the Texans. Back in Week 3 they fell to the Patriots, 27-0, with rookie Jacoby Brissett getting the start at quarterback. 

Brady said that Patriots players will have no problem getting themselves motivated for this one, though.

"This is a day-to-day league," he explained. "It really doesn't matter last time we played 'em or last year. Because things change so much with a game and a game plan and players. Coach talks about all the time it's not who you play, it's how you play, and we need to play well . . . " 

"You put together the process and a winning formula, and then you go out and execute it. If you don't execute it, you lose. I don't think you take anything for granted, I don't think you mail in your preparation. I think we go about it the exact same way same way we've gone about it all year, which is we put teverything into it. 

"We empty the tank in our practices which we always do, and then you come out at the end of the week with confidence and show everyone out there that we're prepared, and we can play because we're playing a really good team. We're playing a team that's earned this opportunity."

Unconventional NFL draft grades

Unconventional NFL draft grades

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Caserio: Brady's age has nothing to do with draft approach

Caserio: Brady's age has nothing to do with draft approach

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took four players in this year's draft. Four. That's the smallest draft class in team history

Instead, as Bill Belichick highlighted on Friday night, they spent multiple picks in this year's draft to pick up proven commodities. 

* Their first and third-rounders were sent to New Orleans in exchange for receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth. 

* Their second-rounder ended up in Carolina, bringing defensive end Kony Ealy and a third to New England. 

* They lost a fourth-rounder to Deflategate and sent another away in order to pry tight end Dwayne Allen and a sixth-rounder from the Colts. 

* They sent a fifth-rounder to Buffalo as compensation for signing restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee. 

* Before last season the Patriots sent a fifth to Cleveland for linebacker Barkevious Mingo. 

* Before last season's trade deadline they sent a sixth-round pick to Detroit for Kyle Van Noy and a seventh-rounder. 

"Obviously, we’ve been watching a lot of picks go by," Belichick said on Friday, "but I feel like overall our opportunity in this draft started a couple of months ago. The four players that we acquired already are also part of the draft process. Hopefully we’ve been able to improve our team, become more competitive. That’s the ultimate goal."

Even on the last day of the draft, the Patriots didn't stop trading picks for veterans when they sent No. 183 overall to Kansas City in exchange for tight end James O'Shaughnessy

But when Nick Caserio was asked on Saturday if his team's approach to the draft -- taking more established players instead of gambling on draft picks -- had anything to do with Tom Brady's age, he shot down that theory.

“That has zero to do with it,” Caserio said. “I would say really the team-building process is very fluid. How it is going to go? There’s no template. There is no book with how it is going to go. 

"There’s a lot of really good players that were in this draft that have been drafted and will help their respective teams. We understand that and understand we felt the same way. There were enough players up there that we felt good about. We take the resources that we have and we try and make the best decision for our team."

In reality, the approach of taking such a small number of draftees is probably more a reflection of the current roster than the quarterback's age. It's loaded, and it seems like there will be relatively few opportunities for rookies to make the Week 1 roster.