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Tom Brady Takes the High Road When it Comes to Replacement Officials After Sunday Night Loss Against Baltimore

It has been a rough two weeks for the New England Patriots. After a heartbreaking loss at home against the Arizona Cardinals, it looked like New England was in position to bounce back on Sunday night against the Ravens. Instead, Baltimore reversed the outcome from the playoffs last season and their field goal kicker came through in the clutch by sneaking the game winning field goal through the uprights. There were some questionable calls down the stretch, the field goal was awfully close, some Patriots players thought it missed and the game between two of the top teams in the AFC ended in controversy with Bill Belichick grabbing one of the replacement officials looking for an explanation. Tom Brady joined The Dial Global Sports Network with Jim Gray to talk about how tough the loss was against Baltimore, how tough it is to lose two games in a row in the fashion the Pats have, whether he is frustrated with the play calling, his thoughts on the replacement officials, what he made of Bill Belichick grabbing an official at the end of the game, how frustrating it is to have the regular officials missing and what he thinks about having a losing record for the first time in a while.

How tough the loss was against Baltimore:

“We met today as a team and just talked about the things that we need to do to better so we can start winning these close games because they seem like they come down to a few plays every week and we’re used to making those plays. We’re going to have to start doing that soon.”

How tough it is to lose two games in a row in the fashion that the Pats have:

“You point out a couple of plays and certainly there’s a long list of plays and if any one of them would be different then we would be sitting in a much different position than we are today. Individually I think you look at what you can do better and the things you need to improve on so that you can build as a team over the course of this part of the season. It’s frustrating to lose games, there is no doubt about it. At the same time, you never want to go backwards and we lost a tough game against a very good football team that really gave us their best shot. I thought we stood toe-to-toe, we were up nine points with six minutes left. I love being in that position, so we just got to figure out a way to close the deal which is oftentimes the hardest part, but that’s part of maybe what the maturity of our team needs.”

Whether he is frustrated with the playcalling:

“Certainly not. I have 100 percent confidence in Josh McDaniels, who calls our plays. I thought yesterday we moved the ball really well at times. The things that hurt us offensively, there were a few penalties that really hurt us and we’ve been very good at not turning the ball over. We’ve had one turnover in three games and that was on a deflected pass so all the guys are doing a really good job of taking care of the ball so we’re really not making the big mistakes, it’s just a matter of the little details and nuances of each play. If we execute those plays then they’re certainly going to look better to our fans. Then you wouldn’t have to question whether I like the play call.”

His thoughts on the replacement officials:

“Well personally, I really try to focus on playing quarterback. Look, we get calls and sometimes we don’t get them. And sometimes there were a few questionable calls that the Ravens got flagged for yesterday, so in the end, there are some we get, some we don’t get and I think we have to be mentally tough enough to move past on whatever those calls are and really focus on doing our job, which is to execute our offensive plays. The reason why we lost the game was because we didn’t ice the game in the four-minute offense. That’s why we lost the game so that’s what we have to do a better job of on offense. When it’s a critical point in the game and we have an opportunity to end the game, we don’t want to leave it up to the officials, we don’t want to leave it up to the defense. We got to take care of business ourselves on offense.”

What he made of Bill Belichick grabbing an official at the end of the game:

“I didn’t see it. I didn’t get a chance to see it last night. I’ve heard people talk about it but I didn’t see it on TV and I didn’t see it on replay so it’s hard for me to comment on it.”

If it is frustrating to not have the regular officials:

“You can look at it one of two ways, and one is, yes that’s exactly right, it’s frustrating. The other is, and how I tend to look at it, is these guys are doing the best they can do. They’re gonna make the calls and they’re gonna try to get it right, but the level of expectation is certainly different. There’s reasons there are professional referees and guys that have done our games year after year. Now they’re not in there and it’s certainly not the players’ choice, or the coaches’ choice; it’s a business decision that is happening outside of the players’ control in NFL headquarters so it’s not like I can sit here and spend a lot of energy and think, ‘Man, what if this ref was here, maybe we’d have got that call.’ No, that’s just not the way it is. My energy and time is spent on doing what I need to do to help our team win and not worry about the weather, the wind, the refs, the birthday party next week. No, I have to focus on being a quarterback, that’s what my job is.”

On having a losing record for the first time in a while:

“If we could just do a few things a little bit better, the results will be different. It’s not like we are losing 50 to nothing out there. We are losing on just some critical plays at some important times. You know, those are the plays we are going to have to start making. I wish that you could wave a magic wand and all of a sudden make it happen, but it doesn’t happen that way. You got to go out and earn it, you got to put the time in and we have to get back to work starting today and get ready for Buffalo and knowing their challenges and what we are going to face up there. But like I said, no one is feeling sorry for us and we are going to have to fight back if we want to make something of this season.”

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