Tom Brady re-appeared at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)
FOXBORO — Maybe Tom Brady is trying to plant a seed with Bill Belichick. Maybe he is just playing nice guy. But the Patriots quarterback said Tuesday that he really does want to play Thursday against Carolina in the third preseason game against the Panthers.
Brady, who called Thursday’s scissors episode a “silly accident,” said he would’ve played if the game were a regular season or playoff game instead of preseason game No. 2 against the Bears.
“Yeah, I think so. Yeah. There’s only one time I’ve ever missed for injury, and I wanted to go back and play that year, too,” Brady said, referring to his ACL tear in the 2008 opener against the Chiefs. “I think that’s just, I’ve always felt like the team is counting on me to be out there, and I’m going to do everything I can to be out there playing. I wanted to go the other night, but I think Coach made a great decision.”
Why would Brady insist on playing?
“I think you’re getting hit so just the space awareness, guys around you and ball security and things like that,” Brady said. “For whatever, the last 30 practices, quarterbacks aren’t touched. Just standing there in the pocket, holding the ball knowing that they’re coming to get the ball and knock it out of your hands, hitting the ground, those types of things and so forth are important. You just have to feel things out and the game is really the only place to get it because it’s regular speed. You don’t know what’s coming. We prepare, but we don’t obviously get to walk through the looks that we’re going to get. When you get out there you just have to make good decisions and go play quarterback the way that I’ve always tried to do.”
Brady, who hasn’t missed an entire preseason since that fateful year, said he absolutely wants to play Friday night against the Panthers.
“Yeah, absolutely. I’d like to be out there every time I get a chance to play, so you only get so many opportunities a year,” Brady said. “I’m getting so many opportunities left in my life, so I’d like to take advantage of any opportunity, any and all of them if possible. When you see your teammates out there in their uniforms and ready to go, you want to be out there with them.
Yeah, I think it’s just putting in effort, as much effort as you can each day to try to be prepared. I try to treat it no different because I always try to do the best that I can to prepare and be ready to go. That’s the kind of mode that I’ve got to get into and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. We try to do that in the spring and try to do that during training camp and deal with the situation as it comes. That’s just where the focus has been. We’ve had a lot of good practices and it’s been a lot of work. Hopefully, we can get out there and play on Friday night but it’s a good week and preparation. I’ve obviously got work to do and that’s where my focus is.”
Has Brady gotten any indication he might play Friday?
“I’m always prepared to go, so whenever my number is called I’ll be ready,” Brady said.
Always the humorist, Brady said he did indeed get mad at himself when he cut his thumb.
“I let out probably a pretty loud word I wouldn’t repeat in front of my kids,” Brady said. “I couldn’t believe it; I just went and got checked out. It was just a silly accident.
“I don’t think about that stuff too much, I’m a pretty positive person. I just focused on how I was trying to do everything I could to get ready to play, and then finally as the QBs [quarterbacks] ran out for warmups it was like, ‘Alright we’re not playing.’ I was just, like I said, bummed that I couldn’t be out there with my teammates and taking the practice field, I love practicing, so to have the chance to go out there, you like, as a guy who’s been here for a long time, to show your leadership through example and be out there whenever you can be out there because that’s what the team is counting on. It was a crappy way to not be out there because it was, like I said, a silly mistake. I’m glad it wasn’t the regular season and I learned from it, so hopefully won’t be operating any more scissors for a while.”
With a four-game suspension looming, Brady says he’s tried to keep his preparation the same in the preseason.
“I try to approach it the same way,” Brady said. “I think that has been successful for me. I don’t try to change a whole bunch of things up, I try to work hard every day and I try to do what I need to do on the practice field to prepare myself. That’s just kind of what the routine is, so we’ll deal with those four weeks when they come. In the meantime, I’m just trying to prepare this week like I would have last year and the year before, and try to just prepare the best I can so I can be the best quarterback that I can for this team.”
Brady finished up Tuesday by saying he hasn’t finalized plans during his four-week hiatus, which reportedly including throwing to the likes of Randy Moss and Troy Brown.
“I haven’t put much thought into it,” Brady said. “It’s been busy, obviously with the practices and so forth. We’ve still got a couple important weeks for this training and for this phase of the season. I want to put all my effort and thoughts into this week and next week, try to go out and play in a couple good preseason games, see if I can get some of that game action and then deal with that when it comes.”