How much does he respect this defense? Enough to start studying up on them back on Thanksgiving.
Tom Brady went on and on yesterday about the 49ers defense, which of course, he does about every team every week.
However, he doesn't often say stuff like "There’s no real weakness on this defense" multiple times very often. I remember listening to a BS Report with Bill Simmons a few months ago and Simmons talked about how impressed Brady was by that 49ers defense.
When Brady says they have no real weakness, he's right. While every other elite defense in the league has a weak spot you could point to (see: Houston, secondary) the 49ers might be the only one that are solid all the way from the defensive line to the back end. They have elite players at every level.
Patriots fans might point to the fact that the 49ers have tied and lost to the Rams, a team the Patriots put over 40 points up on. However, can we please not get into that game? The NFL, maybe more than any other sport, is about matchups and game day performance. Does anyone honestly believe the 49ers are worse than the Rams? Does anyone believe that the Patriots are a worse team than the Giants (ok, Giants fans do). Sometimes you have bad days, the Patriots week 2 loss to the Cardinals is proof of that.
Let's not even think about overlooking the 49ers. Brady certainly isn't.
Q: Can you talk about the difficulties with the hard-hitting 49ers secondary?
TB: Yeah [they’re] a very hard-hitting group. I’d say the whole defense is that way. It’s a very physical defense, certainly at the safety position. We’ve played Donte Whitner quite a few times and he’s as physical as there is. Dashon Goldson, I’m really impressed by his ability – we haven’t played them and I’ve never played against him, but he’s really an impressive player. The linebackers they’ve got are all good, they sack the quarterback and that guy Aldon Smith is on an incredible pace and what a start to a career. So it’s a lot of challenges and we’re going to have to play our best game. I know all of the guys have been preparing hard the last 24 hours, so we’re going to have to continue all the way through Sunday night.
Q: How much does 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith impact the defense’s ability to generate sacks?
TB: Sure, Justin Smith is a great player. He’s got a great motor, he’s big, powerful, takes up two guys and allows those other guys some one-on-one matchups. He’s in there every play. He plays hard, he plays to the end of the play. He’s a great player and they’ve got a great front. There’s no real weakness on this defense and they do everything well.
Q: You said Tuesday morning that you were well on your way to preparing for the 49ers. Did you start preparing earlier than you might have because of the short week?
TB: I did. I did. After our Thursday night game against the Jets, I tried to do a bunch of work on the ‘9ers. So I put a couple of days in there and actually after the game on Monday night, I felt like I just had to watch their most recent game and I was caught up. So, you try to take advantage of a little extra time, a little planning. [I] probably wouldn’t have done that 10 years ago.
Q: What are some of the things that stand out about the 49ers defense that make them such a good unit?
TB: Well, it’s speed, they play well together, they’re physical, they stop the run, they rush the passer, they can cover, they create turnovers, they play well in long yardage situations, they’re good in the red area. They do everything well. Like I said, they were in the NFC Championship last year and had a great season. They’re off to a great start. They won some really tough road games – at New Orleans is tough, they won that one; at Green Bay is as tough as it gets, they won that one. So they can win on the road. They’re a very good team.
Q: What are some of the major difference between the 49ers defense and the Houston Texans defense? Are they similar or are there one or two things that you will have to prepare for that you did not have to worry about last week?
TB: Well, they’re different schemes and different players. I think they both rush the passer well, I think they’re both good in coverage. That’s why you win a lot of games: because you’re really fundamentally sound in all of those areas. But in terms of style, they are very different teams. But it’s equally as big of a challenge for us to be able to go out there and execute against a team that really doesn’t have many weaknesses.