Brady: Focused on Jets, not Gronk

November, 20, 2012
11/20/12
1:40
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A sharply focused Tom Brady spoke with the media on Tuesday afternoon and said that while he's talked to tight end Rob Gronkowski a little bit since the third-year player suffered a broken forearm on Sunday, his concentration remains squarely on the New York Jets.

"Honestly I've just been thinking about the Jets," Brady said. "I haven't been thinking about when he's coming back. He's not playing this week, so we've got to go out there and win without him. And there's a lot of guys that are capable of making plays for us, and that's where my attention is focused, on the guys that are going to try to help us win this game."

Brady talked about playing to the strengths of those who will be called upon to fill Gronkowski's void, including a trio of reserve tight ends.

"Every player has some different strengths and so forth, and you try to play to those strengths," he said. "I don't think you go into [it] and say there's only one Rob Gronkowski, there's only one of those in the league. The guys that are going to be in there doing that role, Visanthe [Shiancoe] and Hooman [Michael Hoomanawanui] and Daniel [Fells], they have to go in there and do the best that they can do. That's why they're on the team. That's why we have 53 guys on the roster, so everybody can contribute at one point or another."

Brady was asked about his confidence level that those players who will step in for Gronkowski won't try to do too much to directly emulate everything that he did, but rather player within themselves and their capabilities.

"I think everyone is just going to go out there and always try to do the best that we can do," he responded. "I'm trying to do that, Wes [Welker] is trying to do that, everybody at every position is going to try to give it their best this week, that's what we all need to do."

The Patriots won't have much time to ready themselves for their next opponent, as they'll travel on Wednesday to play the Jets on Thanksgiving. The 35-year old quarterback said time management is critical during a short week.

"We're just trying to prioritize our time. We don't have much of it," he noted. "We leave tomorrow, and hopefully everyone is spending their time wisely, not playing video games and stuff like that. Trying to understand, and what we need to do, and it's a very tough place to play. We've always played this team very tough. It should be a fun night."

Despite the fact that the Jets are a familiar opponent, Brady stressed that preparation is as important as always.

"You may know the players, some of the scheme stuff, but at the same time, you have to put as much as you can into it in the short amount of time that we have," he added. "You just can't take anything for granted against this team. They'll have something new for us, they always do."

He also alluded to the last time these two teams played, during which Brady said the Jets defense played the Patriots offense as tough as anyone has in 2012. In preparing for the rematch this week, Brady says the group looks typically strong.

"They look like the same Jets defense to me like they always have," he said. "They're very good, disruptive, physical, they're tough, they're smart, they play well together. They're really a very good group."

Perhaps most impressive about the Jets' Week 7 effort in Foxborough was that it came without star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was shelved for the year with an ACL tear. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie has stepped up in his place, and Brady was quick to share praise for the veteran defensive back.

"He's everything you look for in a corner," Brady said of Cromartie. "He's big, fast, he's strong, he's got very good quickness for a guy his size. He makes you pay when you make a bad throw. He's a great interceptor, return guy with the ball in his hands. He's a great player."
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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