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

Wes WelkerSep 17 10:53a

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker has been reinstated Wednesday, Sept. 17, after a new drug testing agreement was reached.

Josh GordonSep 17 10:03a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to return to the team's facility for conditioning and team meetings this week. He would be eligible to play against the Atlanta Falcons Nov. 23.

Sam YoungSep 17 09:33a

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Sam Young was named the starter at right tackle, and C Luke Bowanko will start at center in Week 3.

Matt BosherSep 17 09:03a

Atlanta Falcons P Matt Bosher signed a five-year contract extension with the team. LS Josh X. Harris was signed to a four-year extension as well.

Brian UrlacherSep 17 03:43a

With an injury to LB Mason Foster, rumors have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pursuing free agent LB Brian Urlacher (Bears). Urlacher resigned Tuesday, Sept. 16, from his Fox Sports [ More ]

Jemea ThomasSep 17 03:23a

The Dallas Cowboys signed FB Nikita Whitlock to the practice squad on Tuesday, Sept. 16. The Cowboys cut CB Jemea Thomas to make room.

Andre EllingtonSep 17 02:43a

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) has soreness in his left foot but it has gone down considerably from a week ago. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians hopes Ellington can [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 02:13a

The Minnesota Vikings announced RB Adrian Peterson was placed on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list Wednesday, Sept. 17, which will keep him away from the team indefinitely.

Vernon DavisSep 16 11:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) has a deep bone bruise but no structural damage to his ankle, and the team is optimistic he will be able to play in Week 3.

Vance McDonaldSep 16 11:33p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vance McDonald's (knee) MRI and X-ray results on his right knee came back negative Tuesday, Sept. 16, and he said the injury is just a day-to-day thing.

Carson PalmerSep 16 11:03p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer's (shoulder) timetable to return from a nerve injury in his shoulder could vary greatly, according to head coach Bruce Arians. 'It takes some time,' [ More ]

Jordy NelsonSep 16 10:56p

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has targeted WR Jordy Nelson 30 times in two games so far this year. Rodgers has never targeted one of his wideouts more [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 16 10:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) did not pass his concussion tests Tuesday, Sept. 16, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Abraham will try to pass the tests again Wednesday.

Carson PalmerSep 16 09:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) will receive medical opinions on how to accelerate the healing process of the injured nerve in his shoulder, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Josh GordonSep 16 09:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon had his season-long suspension officially cut to 10 games Tuesday, Sept. 16. He could also avoid serving the mandatory two-game suspension for his DWI [ More ]

Justin JonesSep 16 07:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent TE Justin Jones (Patriots) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Sept. 16.

L. WashingtonSep 16 07:03p

The New York Giants re-signed WR Travis Harvey to their practice squad and signed free-agent WR L'Damian Washington (49ers) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Chris SmithSep 16 06:53p

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed LB Chris Smith to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Isaiah FreySep 16 06:33p

Chicago Bears CB Isaiah Frey and WR Rashad Ross were signed from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Matthew MulliganSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears released TE Matthew Mulligan Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Shaun DraughnSep 16 06:23p

The Chicago Bears placed RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Arthur JonesSep 16 06:13p

Indianapolis Colts DT Arthur Jones (ankle) is likely to be out two to four weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 3 Monday, Sept. 15.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Julian Talley and LB Dan Fox were promoted to the team's active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16, filling the spots left by [ More ]

Preston ParkerSep 16 06:03p

New York Giants WR Preston Parker could see more snaps with WR Jerrell Jernigan recently placed on Reserve/Injured. Parker caught one pass for 29 yards against the Arizona Cardinals [ More ]

Nevin LawsonSep 16 05:53p

The Detroit Lions placed CB Nevin Lawson (toes) on Reserve/Injured and signed free-agents CB Danny Gorrer (Buccaneers) and LB Julian Stanford (Lions) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Mike PounceySep 16 05:32p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) thinks he's healthy enough to return to action in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. 'I feel like I can play,' Pouncey [ More ]

Victor ButlerSep 16 05:32p

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent LB Victor Butler (Saints) and released LB Marcus Benard and P Drew Butler Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Zach BrownSep 16 05:23p

Tennessee Titans LB Zach Brown (pectoral) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 16.

James AndersonSep 16 05:23p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB James Anderson (Patriots) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 16. The Titans believe Anderson can play an inside linebacker position, where they are thin.

Walter ThurmondSep 16 05:13p

New York Giants CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Doug MartinSep 16 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) was limited at practice for the second straight day Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Jerrel JerniganSep 16 05:03p

New York Giants WR Jerrel Jernigan (foot) has been placed on season-ending Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 16.

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