Here's what quarterback Tom Brady had to say after the Patriots AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
On how difficult the Denver Broncos were today:
"They're a good football team and they played really well today. We just couldn't make enough plays, certainly early. Just didn't do enough on third down to stay on the field and score points and move the ball and got in the hole there and it was just too tough to dig our way out."
On if he felt there were some plays to be made early on:
"Yeah, we definitely had some chances on third down, had a chance to Julian [Edelman] down the field that I wish I'd have made that, that certainly would have helped. You know, it's just a tough day for our team and we fought hard, we just came up short to a pretty good team."
On what happened on the throw to Edelman and then to Austin Collie at the end of the second half:
"I just overthrew them."
On if it gets harder as he gets older:
(Inaudible - sounded like "to play great in this spotlight")
"I think anytime it's pretty tough. It's tough to get to this point, two weeks from now there's only one team that's going to win that game and that's a tough one to win. Anytime you come up short of what you're trying to accomplish, it's not a great feeling. But I'm proud of our team and the way we fought. We've got a lot to be proud of and we'll be back at it next year."
On if this was a more emotional loss for him:
"They've all been tough at the end of the year. I've had some losses in the Super Bowl, which have been really tough. Last year's loss in the Championship game was tough. This year was pretty tough. Losing is not easy, but I give them a lot of credit because they played really well. They made a lot of plays offensively and defensively. They've got a good football team. They're going to be tough to beat in a couple weeks."
On what they did to take away the running game:
"Yeah, we didn't do much of anything early in the game, running it or passing it. We just couldn't get a lot of...it was hard because we didn't complete the third downs so then it was hard to really get into the run game. We had two three and outs to start the game so it's hard to be productive when you're not making third downs. Third down conversions early weren't good, and we just didn't make enough plays."
On if it was a helpless feeling at the end watching the Broncos run the clock out:
"Well, they're pretty good. I mean, they've got a good offense and they've done that all season. Once they get the ball, they've got a lot of guys they can throw the ball to and a lot of those guys made plays today. I give them a lot of credit. They made a lot more plays than we did."
On his thoughts on the way Peyton Manning kept the defense off balance:
"They played great. They've got a very good offense, probably the best offense in NFL history, and they certainly played very well today."
On as Manning was making those drives if he was thinking his margin for error was decreasing:
"Well, when you play good teams, I think the margin of error's pretty slim all day. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole there and I don't know if it was 20-3 or 23-3, we just couldn't do enough. So, they've got a good team and they made a lot of plays, and like I said, I give them a lot of credit."
On if when he looks back if he'll put this one on himself more than the others:
"I mean anytime we lose there's things I can do better, so certainly there's things I wish I could have done better today to help us win."
On with all the guys going down if he's surprised his team was able to make it this far and how proud he is of this football team:
"Yeah, I think this team is a very resilient, tough, hard-nosed team. We just got beat today by a team that played really well, by a good football team that plays really well at home, and we've got a good team. We just didn't play well enough today. Only one team gets to advance. That's the NFL playoffs."
On how much losing Aqib Talib hurt them since as quarterback that's an area he would be expected to attack that spot:
"He's been a great player for us, so it's disappointing to not have him out there. But that's what happens sometimes in football games. You've got to find ways to bounce back and our guys fought hard. We just didn't make enough plays to win."
On how good Peyton Manning was today:
"I mean, he played great. They played great. They played great as a team. They've got a lot of good players and he certainly is one of the greatest players to ever play. He had a very good day and their defense played good, we just didn't get enough pressure on that team to...we were playing from behind all day."
On how much the crowd noise affected their rhythm on offense:
"I thought we handled it pretty well, so I wouldn't say that played a big factor. I'd say more of our lack of execution, certainly on third down the early part of the game was a big factor in us not being able to sustain drives and really get a handle on our running game and certainly move the ball to score enough points."
On the fact he has said in the past he feels like he's on a treadmill that just stops when these losses happen and if he feels he's got a finite opportunity with his career, coach Belichick, and what the motivation is every year to come back and to get to this level and get past this level:
"Well, it's the same way it's always been. Certainly for the New England Patriots , it's to win. It's to win every time you take the field. We did a decent job to get ourselves to this position and like I said, there's two good teams that were playing and only one gets to advance and it's the team that played better today. They played good, they've got a lot of good players. I thought they made plays offensively and defensively that really helped them win. Certainly, I wish I could have done more to help us, maybe something could have been different."
On the fact Julian Edelman was very emotional in the locker room and what he learned about him this season:
"He had a great year. I'm so proud of him and everything he's accomplished. I couldn't be happier for him and what he's accomplished personally, but certainly his selflessness and helping the team and he just had a great season."
On what happened in the fourth quarter when they finally got things going:
"We were executing a little bit better. Just found some spots and made the throws and catches. We found a little space in there and made some plays. I just wish we could have done it for four quarters."
On his touchdown run and what he saw:
"They dropped off into coverage and I found a little space. That doesn't happen too often where I run them in. It just wasn't enough."
On what he and Peyton talked about after the game:
"I just wished him luck. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a great player and competitor, and certainly he's a great player and he played great today."
"I thought our offensive line played really good. They pass protected really well, gave us some spots in the run game. They fought really hard and played hard, we just couldn't do enough there, like I said, early in the game to get points on the board and make it competitive and it got away from us a little bit. We tried to fight back, but it was too big of a hole."
On the pressure the Broncos were able to put on them on third down:
"They got a little bit of pressure, but I thought we handled it. The one play they got the sack it was a good rush. He's a good player, we just couldn't quite get out of the way of him."
Here's what Bill Belichick had to say following Sunday's AFC Championship loss to the Broncos:
"Alright, well, it's always a tough way for the season to end like that. But you've got to give Denver a lot of credit today. Cox [John] Fox, his staff, and obviously his players, they did a good job - did a better job than we did. I thought we played hard, thought we were ready to go, we just didn't make enough plays, didn't do things quite well enough and Denver did them better than we did today and that's why they deserved to win and they move on. So congratulations to them. I'm proud of our football team, proud of everything we did this year. We've got a lot of guys in that locker room that really played hard, played well, gave everything they had all season long, and I'm proud to be their coach. I just wish it could have ended a little bit better for us today. But again, give Denver credit, they did a good job."
On his impressions of the pick play on Talib:
"As it turned out it was a key play in the game. So I'll take a look at it on the replay. But that was a key play in the game."
(Inaudible - A follow up question on the play)
"I told you, I have to take a look at it on film. But it was a key play in the game."
On how it changed what they needed to do on defense:
"It was a key play in the game. Obviously, he's a key player for us."
On if he fought to come back in the game:
"Yeah, of course. There's no more competitive guy in that locker room than Aqib Talib."
On the fourth and three play and if that was a key play:
"There were a lot of key plays, yeah, sure. Yeah."
On if he was surprised they couldn't run the ball as well this week:
"You know, the idea is to score points and we just didn't score enough points. Obviously they did some things to try to take that away, that wasn't unexpected. We just weren't able to score enough points, and we gave up too many. It's as simple as that."
On if his offense was too one-dimensional today:
"Well, we need to score more points."
On if the problems were because of the absence of a running game:
"I didn't say that. We need to score more points."
On their problems defensively on third down:
"We didn't do a good enough job. We were able to hold them to some field goals defensively, but our third down defense and our third down offense, especially in the first half, let them get too far ahead. They were able to stay on the field, had the ball, had field position, and even the couple of times we held them to field goals we still didn't have possession of the ball, didn't have a chance to do much, we were just trying to keep them out of the end zone and I mean, that's O.K., but it would be a lot better if we could stop them on third down and get the ball back. We just weren't able to do that and then conversely, we weren't able to do it offensively."
On the two point conversion:
"That would have changed the game quite a bit. We obviously didn't do a good job on that play either. I had some opportunities that had we done a little bit better with them, would have put ourselves in better position. But that would have certainly changed the strategy if it had been an eight point game instead of a 10 point game."
On how tough it was getting to Peyton Manning:
"They did good job. They did a good job mixing the plays and as always he did an excellent job of reading the defenses and he got us in some situations that were less than ideal with his astute play-calling and recognition. We disguised and I think we got him a few times, but he certainly got us a few times too and they've got a lot of good players, tough team to match up against with all the good skill players they have, backs, tight ends, receivers, so obviously a good football team. Good offensive system, good quarterback."
On if he can allow himself to reflect on this season:
"Not right now. No, not right now."
On if he had a lot of words for [Denver coach] John Fox after the game:
"Yeah, I talked to John after the game, sure did. John's a good friend, have a lot of respect for John. He's been a great coach back to the days when he was a coordinator at the Giants, and Carolina, out here, he does a good job. I respect him. I've got a lot of respect for John and their entire football team. Absolutely. Wish him well."
On if he was surprised that Tom Brady wasn't as accurate as he normally is:
"I mean again, the bottom line was, they just did a better job than we did. That's really the bottom line. I don't think it's about any one player or any one play, there were a lot of opportunities in the game that had we been able to coach better, execute better, in any of those areas it would have given us a better chance. But we were up against another good football team and they were better than we were today. So give them credit for what they did. They did a good job."
On how he feels about the hit on Talib:
"I've already answered that question."
On what he said to the team after the game:
"I'll keep that between me and the team. But what I said here is the way I feel. I wouldn't take back anything that I've said. I'm proud of the team, proud to be their coach. Thought they played hard all year, played competitively every single week. Some weeks we played better than others but there was never a lack of effort or toughness or everybody trying to do their best, and I totally respect the team for that and what they did. I'm proud to be their coach. So that's how I feel about it."
On people saying this is his best coaching performance and the fact they made it this far with all the guys that got hurt:
"I don't really think about that, I just think about this game. Trying to come out here and win this game, and win the AFC Championship. That's really the only thing that's in my mind. All the rest of it's a bunch of hot air."
On how much he'll think about this game before he puts it behind him:
"I don't know, that's a good question. Unfortunately we've been here before. We've won AFC Championship games and we've lost them, so we'll move on, we have to. We're behind a lot of the other teams in the league, all except one in the AFC actually in terms of the offseason, so we've got little bit of catching up to do. But starting tomorrow we're on to 2014."
On if he's ever coached a mentally tougher team than this one:
"They were very much that, physically and mentally tough. I don't know about ranking them and all that because of the different make-ups of the team and the players and so forth. But this team worked hard from the first day of OTA's, from the offseason program, through the OTA's, minicamp, training camp, regular season, playoffs, they worked hard daily, all day long and I think they improved quite a bit during the year. That's how you do improve. You take the instruction that you're given, you work hard on it, and you have positive results. You build on those, correct your mistakes, build on your positive results, and keep going. I think as a team they've done that and individually that's been kind of the trademark of the players on this team. Taking corrections, working hard, moving on, trying to get better, not getting caught up in what happened in the past but just trying to do a better job the next time out. I think that improvement served us well all year. I wish we could have done a little bit better job today. Especially me."
On if there was any specific area he wishes he could have done better:
"Anytime you lose a game like this, there's definitely things you don't feel great about. There's a lot of things I don't feel great about. That shouldn't come as any big surprise. But, it's in the books, can't do anything about it except look back on it, learn from it, and move on. Certainly some calls, some plays we'd like to have back, I'm sure everybody who competed in the game would like to have something back. It's tough when your season ends. Just suddenly, but that's the way it is, we know that's the situation in the playoffs. One team moves on, one team doesn't. Comes to a sudden stop. But again, I'll say this, whatever mistakes were made in that game by me and everybody else, I think were all made with the intention of doing what was best. Not everything worked out best, but it was done with the intention of doing what was best and trying our best to make it work. Didn't always work, but the effort and intent to do the right thing, I definitely feel like that was there and it's been there all year."
On the fact it seems like he's taking a lot of heat himself and if he himself feels like he made a lot of mistakes:
"I don't think anybody in that locker room feels good right now and we probably shouldn't, and I feel the same way. You lose a game like that you certainly think there's things you could have done better. I can't imagine not feeling that way."
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