The further a team advances during the NFL's postseason, the more media attention it gets – especially if said team is the New England Patriots. However, as long as their are no silly questions about the inflation levels of footballs or the functionality of headsets, the media access is usually pretty interesting.
Look no further than yesterday's press conference (all quotes via patriots.com), when Tom Brady was asked the following question...
Q: Is it all silent count when you're in Denver, and does it give you an advantage at all to have been out there previously and see what you can or cannot do? What happens when you're on the road versus at home, where you're able to move guys all over the place at home?
...and gave us an inside look how New England's offense functions when on the road and the challenges it faces. Here is Brady's answer:
TB: Yeah, it's definitely silent count there. And I think a big part of it is just the verbal cadence and how that relates to where the tackles and tight ends are. The center can hear you, I'd say, pretty much the entire game when you're under center. But everybody getting off on the same count is really important. At home it's easy because it's verbal and the communication is pretty easy. When you go on the road, you still want everyone on the offense to go on the right rhythm and really jump the count, but you can only do that on a silent count, because no one can obviously hear me verbally when we're on the road.
Brady was then asked to go into a little more detail regarding pre-snap motions:
Q: What about moving guys? I mean, you move guys around a lot at home. Sometimes you just say, 'I'm not going to be able to do it.’?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. It's really easy to just spit out a word as opposed to signal something, or you'd have to come up with thousands of signals for all of the things that we do. It's really when the play clock becomes an issue, and I think the adjustments at home are easier. I think that's why you have a little more margin of error at home, just with your communication, because I can switch protections, or I can switch an identification, or I can change a route, or I can change a formation really quickly. Whereas on the road, I don't think you really have that luxury.
On Sunday against the Denver Broncos, Brady will be faced by not only a talented defense but by the challenges the environment provides as well. Having played on the biggest of stages and in the most hostile locations, he has the experience to overcome such obstacles – hopefully, his teammates will be able to do the same.