Brady giving NY defensive coach sleepness nights
INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has had a sleepless week and he blames Tom Brady.
Fewell has been left tossing and turning, trying to come up with a plan to contain the New England Patriots' quarterback.
"Things are always going off in your head about what you can do, how you can do it better, how to disguise what kind of looks you can give to the guy," he told reporters on Wednesday.
Fewell knows stopping Brady is easier said than done. Brady threw for a career-high 5,235 yards and tossed 39 touchdown passes this season.
But he said the key was for his players to treat the game like any other and not allow themselves to get overawed by the occasion.
"We have to enjoy ourselves and not play tight. I try to treat it like it's just another game we have to win," he said.
"If I make it any bigger than that then I think I'll paralyze myself and my players."
Fewell has one obvious threat to contain. Brady has connected with New England tight end Rob Gronkowski for 17 of those touchdowns.
But Gronkowski has not practised all week because of a sprained ankle, leaving Fewell uncertain about what to expect.
"We don't know if he will or if he won't, it's very difficult," Fewell said.
"You try and study, but he's been in every football game they've played in this year, so what will they do without him? It's a difficult thing to plan for."
Fewell has also been busy conjuring up a plan to thwart the hurry-up, no-huddle offense Brady likes to run to keep defenses on their heels.
"It is a challenge for us," he said. "They have a very fast, up-tempo and then they can slow it down also. They try to dictate the pace of the game."
The Patriots' running attack will also keep Fewell on his toes, as New England rotates BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and even tight end Aaron Hernandez into the backfield.
"Our whole principal is to stop the run first, more so than stop the pass. If we make them one dimensional it's an easier game for us," Fewell explained.
But with so many things to prepare for, Fewell said there was another fear: that he could overload his players with too many contingency plans.
"You can have so much defense that you can paralyze your football team," he said.
"I usually go into a game with a set number of things to run. But this is a special occasion."
(Editing by Julian Linden)