In six days (Monday, October 3), Tom Brady can return to Gillette Stadium after serving his four-game suspension.
Over his four weeks away from the team, Brady has worked out with Wes Welker, been an honorary captain at a University of Michigan football game and most recently, visited Italy with wife Gisele Bundchen.
Brady feels ready to return after a month away.
“I’ve tried to be very positive about the experience and use it to prepare myself to get ready to play,” Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One’s Monday Night Football pregame show. “I feel like I am at a good place with one week to go.”
While Brady has been away, the team has gone 3-0 in its first three games using two different quarterbacks in the process. With third-string rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett under center, the Patriots beat the Texans, 27-0 last Thursday night.
“It certainly doesn’t surprise me the way the team has performed like they did on Thursday night because they are always so well prepared and they take advantage of short weeks,” Brady said. “I was so happy to see them come out and play as well as they did. They played well in every area of the game and it really took contributions from all three units. It’s tough to play on those short weeks. Your body obviously feels different than having seven days to play between games, but to see the team go out and rally against a really good Houston team was very inspiring to watch. It was a great way to get to 3-0.”
With Bill Belichick leading the Patriots to a 3-0 record while not having some of the team’s best players, Gray asked Brady if he believes the Patriots coach is the best of all-time?
“Yeah, I definitely think so,” Brady said. “I think whatever hand he has been dealt he finds a way to win. That is the mark of a great coach. Sitting on those meetings for the last 16 years and watching him prepare the team, there is no coach I would ever want to play for. He’s just remarkable in every aspect.
“It’s a privilege to play for him and I look forward to getting back out there and getting yelled at by him because he is tough on the players and he expected the most out of us each and every day. That ends up getting the most out of the players and he’s been so consistent with his approach and it’s paid off for our team for a long time.”
Brady also discussed how there will be an adjustment period for him getting back to the team and live action, but pointed to Danny Amendola, who missed all of training camp, but has had a great start to the season.
“I do admire some teammates of mine like Danny Amendola,” he said. “He didn’t practice at all during training camp and he goes out there the first week of the year and has a great game. The second week of the year, has two touchdown catches, so I’ve played with a lot of teammates who have been off for extended periods of time and they go out there and it almost looks like they are flipping a switch.
“For me, that’s not really the way I like to prepare. I like to take every rep in practice. I like to practice everyday. I’ve been able to be very healthy over the course of my career. I think that really has helped me. I am going to need to find that rhythm back and it is going to take some work and time. Like I’ve said before, that is some uncharted territory too.”
As for his trip to Italy, Brady said he had a great time, he just hopes he doesn’t visit during the month of September for quite a long time.
“We had a great time,” Brady said. “It was a great chance to get away and I’ve never had the opportunity in September and hopefully I don’t have one for a very, very long time.”