2014 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

Connor BarthAug 29 03:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut PK Connor Barth Friday, Aug. 29.

Arrelious BennAug 29 03:32p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Arrelious Benn (back) will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Aug. 29.

B. Green-EllisAug 29 03:12p

The Cincinnati Bengals cut RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis Friday, Aug. 29.

Mitchell Van DykAug 29 02:42p

The St. Louis Rams released OT Mitchell Van Dyk Friday, Aug. 29.

Johnny ManzielAug 29 02:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel showed a strong effort in the team's final preseason game against the Chicago Bears Thursday, Aug. 28, leading head coach Mike Pettine to acknowledge [ More ]

Charles SimsAug 29 02:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims (ankle) is expected to be placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list, which means he could return late in the season.

Santonio HolmesAug 29 01:52p

Chicago Bears WR Santonio Holmes displayed good burst and explosion on a 32-yard touchdown catch in the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28, as he tries to make the [ More ]

Larry EnglishAug 29 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released LB Larry English Friday, Aug. 29.

Marc MarianiAug 29 01:22p

The Tennessee Titans released WR Marc Mariani Friday, Aug. 29.

Yawin SmallwoodAug 29 01:12p

The Atlanta Falcons released LB Yawin Smallwood Friday, Aug. 29.

Pat AngererAug 29 01:12p

The Atlanta Falcons released LB Pat Angerer Friday, Aug. 29.

S. JanikowskiAug 29 12:32p

Oakland Raiders PK Sebastian Janikowski (quadriceps) is expected to be ready to play in Week 1 against the New York Jets, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Aaron DobsonAug 29 11:02a

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in the final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

Lonnie PryorAug 29 10:42a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released LB Ka'lial Glaud, FB Lonnie Pryor and CB Keith Lewis.

Benny CunninghamAug 29 10:18a

St. Louis Rams RB Benny Cunningham has been the team's best running back during the preseason and could push RB Zac Stacy for playing time this season.

Cam NewtonAug 29 09:37a

Updating a previous report, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs) said Wednesday, Aug. 27, that he will be ready for the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsAug 29 08:52a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) suffered an injury to his ribs in the same area as his previous one, according to sources.

Martavis BryantAug 29 08:42a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (shoulder) suffered a sprained right AC joint in his shoulder in the final preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

T.J. YatesAug 29 03:32a

Atlanta Falcons QB T.J. Yates threw for two touchdowns and 243 yards in his team's 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dan OrlovskyAug 29 03:22a

Detroit Lions QB Kellen Moore was 17 of 28 for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a shutout of the Buffalo Bills Thursday, Aug. 28. It is not known [ More ]

Jeremy HillAug 28 11:52p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill (elbow) returned to the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28, after being evaluated in the locker room at halftime. He finished the game with [ More ]

Nate PalmerAug 28 11:52p

Green Bay Packers OT Aaron Adams (knee) and LB Nate Palmer (knee) left the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 28.

Devonta FreemanAug 28 11:22p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman had 12 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 45 yards during the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 28.

Cecil Shorts IIIAug 28 10:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) said he will be ready for the team's season opener.

Sammy WatkinsAug 28 07:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) left the team's final preseason game with an apparent injury. There was no indication if Watkins aggravated his ribs.

Kyle Van NoyAug 28 07:12p

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) underwent surgery Thursday, Aug. 28, to repair a core muscle injury. Van Noy's timetable for a return is unknown this early in the process.

Tim BenfordAug 28 07:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jace Davis, Dallas Cowboys WR Tim Benford, Kansas City Chiefs C Ben Gottschalk and Seattle Seahawks OG Greg Van Roten cleared waivers and became free agents Thursday, Aug. 28.

R. Griffin IIIAug 28 05:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III isn't playing consistently, according to ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski. Jaworski said Griffin must learn to throw from the pocket [ More ]

Geoff SchwartzAug 28 05:32p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), CB Prince Amukamara (groin), OT Charles Brown (shoulder), OT James Brewer (back), OG Geoff Schwartz (toe), OG [ More ]

Navorro BowmanAug 28 04:02p

San Francisco 49ers LB Michael Wilhoite appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker while LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) is out of the lineup.

J. CunninghamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams TEs Justice Cunningham and Alex Bayer likely are competing for one roster spot. Cunningham is considered a blocking tight end, while Bayer is a pass catcher. [ More ]

Michael SamAug 28 03:52p

St. Louis Rams DE Michael Sam is competing with DE Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on the final roster.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group