FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady proved Thursday night that you can teach an old quarterback new tricks in what wound up being the New England Patriots’ game-clinching play.
Brady scrambled to his left, which helped extend a third-and-19 play in the fourth quarter, allowing Danny Amendola to break off his route and get open in the end zone for a touchdown. The score gave the Patriots an eight-point lead over the New York Jets, who managed only one more touchdown and a failed extra-point try as New England won 27-25.
Brady, who ran a 5.28-second 40-yard dash coming out of Michigan in 2000 and likely has only gotten slower over the past 14 years, is trying to follow the trends and become a more mobile quarterback.
“That’s never really been something I’ve been great at is extending plays,” Brady said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. “I see so many of these players, whether it’s Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler does it, Alex Smith does it — some really mobile quarterbacks do a great job for their team. Ben Roethlisberger has done it for a number of years. I’m just trying to understand how I can help my team more, and if I can make some more of those plays, I think it would really help our team.
“I don’t think, instinctually, it’s there yet, but I’ll keep working on it. It’s good to see when they happen, they end up being big plays — big momentum plays.”
Brady always has been strong on quarterback sneaks, but any time he tucks the ball and tries to run on a planned pass, he winds up looking like a wounded deer trying to escape oncoming traffic. Brady said part of his hesitancy to run with the ball is in his head.
“I joke all the time, I say ‘I don’t have one cell in my body that ever tells me to run,’ ” he said. “I think I just sit there and kinda go, ‘Wow, I have more time to throw than usual.’ As opposed to, I see some other players when their initial read’s not open, then — bam — they’re on the move. They do a great job of that.
“I think there’s a balance for both of those. I think being in the pocket certainly has served me well, but there’s times when I can definitely help our team more by extending plays and trying to make the defense cover for a longer period of time than they normally cover. I’ll keep working on that.”
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