Tom Brady Says The 49ers’ Defense Is One Of The Best He’s Ever Seen: “Biggest Challenge We’ve Had All Year”

The New England Patriots are scaring the hell out of the rest of the NFL. The Patriots crushed the then-one-loss Houston Texans on Monday night for their ninth win in 10 games. Tom Brady is putting up MVP-caliber numbers despite not having all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski, and New England is becoming a Super Bowl favorite again as winter arrives.

Tom Brady joined Dennis and Callahan on WEEI in Boston to discuss Monday night’s big win over the Texans, the mentality of the team, the hype surrounding prime-time games like that one, Aaron Hernandez’s wide-open touchdown against Houston, and the Texans’ decision to wear varsity jackets to that game. He also touched on next week’s opponent, San Francisco, and the team being miserable despite being hot.

On building an early lead and putting the Texans away quickly Monday night:

“We played well and we took advantage of some of their mistakes early, and any time you can get out to that type of lead at home, we’d have really had to screw it up to lose that game. We started fast, both defensively and offensively, and made some critical plays in the second half to kind of put it out of reach. I was happy for our guys. That was our first Monday night game all year, and really, to see how we were going to respond, and we responded pretty well.”

On the Patriots being realists, rather than optimists:

“I think we’re trained to be realists. … Every day you hear the truth. It’s not necessarily what you want to hear all the time, but it makes the football team better. When we play well, that’s what we hear. When we don’t play well, that’s what we hear. It’s not necessarily winning or losing, it’s how did we perform and did we do the things that we say we needed to do? And we get that from our head coach.”

On if the Patriots get better when the pressure’s on:

“I don’t think we treat it much different, to tell you the truth. I think there’s a level of excitement [for] a night game. I mean, you’re fully awake at 8 at night; you’ve been thinking about the game all day. Usually it’s an important game — those are the matchups on Monday Night Football. I know ESPN hasn’t had a lot of them this year, but certainly 11-1 against 9-3 is a pretty big matchup. We just went out there and we executed well. I think that’s the difference. You can go out there and build it up, or not build it up, and make a bunch of predictions, but ultimately it’s going to come down to execution.”

On if he ditched the play that was drawn up in order to hit an uncovered Aaron Hernandez for a touchdown:

“Yes. And that doesn’t happen too often.”

On Hernandez waving to indicate he wasn’t covered:

“Aaron always is waving his hand like he’s open, so I gotta tone him down from time to time. He waves when he’s double-covered, too, so I said, ‘Don’t worry, I see you.’ I always tell the guys ‘I see exactly what you see.’ When you’re open, sometimes you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, but he was so excited. I was trying to just make sure everyone was set before I could snap the ball because if I didn’t, then it would be a penalty.”

On the 49ers, whom they face in Week 15:

“This defense is one of the best that I’ve ever seen so this is going to be a totally different challenge. We’re going to have to be at our best this week.”

On if he’s seen tape on the 49ers yet:

“Yup. I’ve seen pretty much everything this year.”

On the Texans wearing varsity jackets to Monday night’s game:

“I read something about it, but over the course of the long year, everyone comes up with some different things. So I actually thought it was pretty cool.”

On the team being miserable despite being on a seven-game winning streak:

“We’re probably the most miserable team in the league winning seven straight. … There’s not a lot of enjoyment in our week of practice because the urgency is always so high.”

On the challenge the 49ers bring to the table Sunday night:

“Certainly this week is going to be our biggest challenge we’ve had all year.”

On what TV shows he watches on weeknights:

“On DVR, I watch Dexter when I can. … I watched every 24; I watched every Shield.”

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