New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was visibly frustrated after a sloppy effort last week in Jackonsville but a first-round playoff bye and a 28-0 win against Miami Sunday had him in better spirits.
"[Beating the Dolphins and earning a first-round playoff bye] is kind of a late Christmas present so we accept," Brady said.
The following Q&A is courtesy of the Patriots Media Relations Department.
Q: What was it like having Rob Gronkowski back?
TB: Yeah, he made a couple big catches. It was nice to get him back in the flow of things. We used everybody, so it was exciting to kind of have everybody out there at once for the first time all season. We’ll use the bye and hopefully come back strong in a couple weeks.
Q: You were a little cranky at this time last week. Feeling a little better today? Are you happy with the execution and the handing of the elements?
TB: Yeah it was tough out there. It was pretty cold and pretty windy. We handled it better than the Dolphins, most importantly.
Q: When did you know that the Colts had beaten Houston?
TB: When we came in after pre-game warm-ups.
Q: Was much said about that?
TB: Not really.
Q: Not by the coaches?
TB: Well Coach Belichick just said, ‘Look, the only people that can improve our position are us, so regardless of what anyone else does, we have to win.’ And that’s what we did.
Q: With this performance, do you think you’re pretty close to getting to where you need to be going into the playoffs?
TB: Well, we’ve won 10 of 11, so it’s pretty good. We were 2-3 at one point, [and we] had some tough games early in the year. We won 10 of 11 and the only loss was against a pretty good football team where we turned it over four times. So if we don’t turn it over four times, I like our chances.
Q: It’s a pretty long journey from training camp in July to now. How much more have you learned about this team and how much more do you think you need to find out?
TB: We’re just going to keep battling. I think that’s why you play them all. You don’t make, at the halfway point, at Thanksgiving, you kind of see where the teams are positioned, but you have to play all 16. After you put them all together, you see where you stand. We compete against everybody, so we’ll take out time to get some guys healed up and hopefully get ready to go whenever we find out whoever we play.
Q: You mentioned how nice it is to have everyone out on the field at the same time. What does that allow you to do that you can’t otherwise?
TB: Well, just to use their different skill sets. Those guys – Gronk caught a big touchdown. Aaron [Hernandez] caught some pretty critical first down plays. Those are very flexible guys. Hooman [Michael Hoomanawanui] and Daniel [Fells] played a very big role, so all four tight ends played. The receivers all played. It was good to see.