The enduring moment from Sunday night’s New England Patriots loss to the Houston Texans was probably Tom Brady on the bench, yelling at his receivers.
It’s not unusual for a quarterback to be stern with his teammates. It wasn’t really a big deal. But it seemed to speak to Brady’s frustration.
Brady explained on Monday that he didn’t mind the effort from his teammates, but it’s his job to get the most out of everyone. Sometimes that leads to some fiery words.
Tom Brady was trying to motivate
Brady didn’t say anything that would be considered out of line to his teammates on the bench. It seemed he was saying to his receivers that they needed to be “faster, quicker, more explosive.” Not bad.
But because it’s Brady, because the Patriots offense is struggling and because it was all on camera, it seemed like a bigger deal than it was.
"A quarterback's responsibility is to try to lead and motivate,” Brady said on WEEI on Monday morning, via ESPN.com. “We're often the voice of a lot of situations, because first we're calling the plays in the huddle. And we have a lot of information from the coaches and coordinators on what we're trying to do. We're trying to motivate people and get people to play their best.
"Guys are trying. I have no problem [with the effort]. I love playing with Phillip Dorsett. I love playing with N'Keal. N'Keal is working his tail off. He hasn't had a lot of opportunity out there. He's learning as he's going. To expect someone to go out in their third game of the year, and be perfect, I think that's unrealistic for anyone. I love what N'Keal is bringing. We're gaining confidence every week.”
Whether or not Brady is frustrated with the lack of talent around him, he’s not going to be saying that publicly.
Patriots are still 10-2
Brady’s message seemed to be that the Patriots are still in good shape, and he’s right. New England is 10-2. It hurts that the Patriots now need the Ravens to lose to get the AFC’s No. 1 seed. But the Patriots are still one of the NFL’s best teams.
It’s just that every Patriots loss seems like a major event.
"I know there are very high expectations, as there are for us,” Brady said on WEEI, via ESPN.com. “I think the expectations for our team are often at a very, very, very high level. I understand that. But at the same time, I think there are realistic expectations with our circumstances and incorporating different elements and players and injuries.”
The Patriots have a great test in Week 14 when they face the Kansas City Chiefs. They can’t afford to lose any more ground to the Ravens if they want home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. But aside from New England fans, nobody is rooting for the Patriots to turn it around.
"I don't think anyone is feeling sorry for us. We're not feeling sorry for us,” Brady said. “We're going to try to have a great week of preparation and see if we can get back to winning."
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