2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Poise and precision push Patriots QB Brady

By HOWARD ULMAN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-17 16:59

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The crowd goes wild. Tom Brady stays calm.

Same as always.

''That's pretty much always been a trademark of Tom,'' New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says.

Long before he became one of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks, Brady got used to the pressure of playing before more than 100,000 fans in college. Then, in just his third pro start more than a decade ago, he led the first successful fourth-quarter comeback of his pro career.

And last Sunday, cool in the clutch, he got the ball 70 yards from the end zone with no timeouts and 73 seconds left and completed the winning touchdown pass with 5 ticks left on the clock.

That 30-27 stunner against the New Orleans Saints added another notch to his comeback belt - 26 wins in games the Patriots trailed in the fourth quarter. Patriots fans who stayed after about half left in despair roared as Brady confidently led his team to victory.

But that was nothing like the crowds at Michigan.

''I went to a big school, so there were 110,000 people that came to our games in college,'' Brady said. ''I learned pretty early. I came here and there are 65,000 people. It's like, `Man, where is it? It's half the stadium.' You try to be in those pressurized situations and put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform well.''

For some quarterbacks, the moment might be too much.

For Brady, trailing in the last two minutes is just another chance to make plays.

''I've been around for a little bit, so I've been in these situations. Good execution usually solves a lot of the issues,'' he said. ''You're just trying to focus, really, on what the situation is, not what has happened over the course of the game. You get in a situation where you need a touchdown at the end, that's the situation you're in.''

On his first play after New Orleans went ahead 27-23, Brady threw an interception with 2:16 left. Then the Saints went three-and-out.

Brady got the ball back and this time he delivered with the winning 17-yard pass to Kenbrell Thompkins.

''We all look to number 12 (Brady) in certain situations like that. We look to Tom and he's not shaken,'' said Austin Collie, who had his first two receptions as a Patriot on that drive. ''It kind of rubs off on us.''

Saints quarterback Drew Brees was worried as he watched.

''While I had the utmost confidence in our defense,'' he said, ''I know the player. I know the mindset.''

The Patriots (5-1) practice those situations - no timeouts, two minutes left, hurrying to the line of scrimmage. When it happens for real, they're ready.

Next up on Sunday: the New York Jets (3-3), the team Brady beat in overtime last year after trailing 26-23 with 1:37 left in regulation.

Perhaps, Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked, Brady is like a vampire whose game-winning drives only can be stopped with a stake to the heart.

''I thought about doing all that stuff,'' he said, smiling. ''But I think the league would fine me.''

Brady began pulling the Patriots out of holes three games after an injury to Drew Bledsoe in 2001 made him the starter. In that game, they trailed San Diego 26-19 but had the ball back one play before the two-minute warning.

Here's how Brady started the drive: two completions for 15 yards. Here's how he ended it: two completions for 29 yards and a touchdown with 36 seconds left in regulation. And here's what Belichick said after the 29-26 overtime win: ''Tom played with a lot of poise.''

Same as always, even if he doesn't always win.

In the 2012 Super Bowl, the New York Giants went ahead 21-17 with 57 seconds remaining. Brady then completed two of seven passes with a sack before time expired.

''When he first took over for Drew and started to become a regular player, we were in a lot of tight games,'' Belichick said. ''Some we won, some we lost, but I never felt that there was a sense of panic or discomfort or anything with Tom.

''That's something that really was one of Tom's greatest strengths, is his ability to see the field, remain calm, remain poised even though the stadium may be going crazy.''

In 2002, Brady got his first of three Super Bowl wins, 20-17, after the St. Louis Rams tied it with 1:30 left. A 6-yard completion to Jermaine Wiggins set up Adam Vinatieri's final-play, 48-yard field goal.

''He basically said in the huddle, `Wiggy, no matter what, I'm coming to you on this so get open,''' Wiggins recalled. ''He wasn't fired up. It was more of a discussion. I just said, `you throw it, I'll catch it.'''

Now he's throwing to Collie, who played with the Indianapolis Colts with another quarterback with a history of late comebacks, Peyton Manning.

Was he as cool in the clutch as Brady?

''Tom's like that,'' Collie said, ''and, right now, that's all that matters.''

---

Sports Writers Brett Martel in New Orleans and Dennis Waszak Jr. in New York contributed to this report.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pat DevlinJun 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Pat Devlin, TE Jacob Maxwell and PK Jeremiah Detmer were waived Thursday, June 18.

Dez BryantJun 18 11:42a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant arrived for the final day of minicamp Thursday, June 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group