Brady bullish in focus on Titans
Star QB ready to go after fortnight of drama off field
Maybe the Tennessee Titans are coming up for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at the perfect time.
After a drama-filled week, the quarterback says his focus remains solely on football as his team prepares to host the Titans in Saturday’s divisional round.
During Brady’s tenure the Patriots are 6-1 against the Titans. He has 13 passing touchdowns and one interception in those games — his best touchdown to interception ratio against any opponent in his career.
He also is 6-0 against Mike Mularkey-coached teams.
But that hasn’t changed the approach for Brady, who is preparing for his 35th playoff start in the aftermath of recent reports suggesting discord between himself, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.
In a joint statement last week, all three men brushed aside any insinuation of strife at the top of one of the NFL’S jewel franchises. Brady reiterated on Thursday that his mind remains on the field.
“We do what we always do. We show up to work and try to do the best we can do,’’ he said. “We know there’s a lot at stake and I think everyone’s put a lot into it. It doesn’t really matter what happened outside of this facility.’’
Patriots receiver Danny Amendola hasn’t noticed any change in Brady.
“He’s the ultimate professional and he (makes) his teammates better and he demands a lot,’’ Amendola said. “We all want to win for him, and we all want to play hard for him.’’
Tennessee recognizes the challenge it faces against Brady. It opened the week as a 13-point underdog, and prior to last week hadn’t won a playoff game since the 2003 season.
That doesn’t mean the Titans fear the Patriots.
“It’s a playoff game, so it’s not like it’s the pre-season where I can go out there, ’Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin,’’’ Tennessee Allpro safety Kevin Byard said. “This is a playoff game. So I don’t really care if it was Joe Montana. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like (Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback) Blake Bortles if I can to try to catch a couple picks.
“Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but it’s a playoff game. I’m not really looking at it like that.’’
With unrest swirling, Tom Brady’s Patriots face the Titans on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.
Steven Senne/the Associated PRESS