Tom Brady passes in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA Today Sports)
FOXBORO — If you thought Tom Brady would be satisfied with four preseason series against the Panthers last Friday night, you don’t know Tom Brady.
Speaking Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots quarterback said he would like more playing time this Thursday night in the preseason finale before heading into a four-week suspension.
“I look at all these practices as ways to get better I have access to the fields and throwing to my receivers, so try to use those days as best I possibly can and just like I always would and I got another, hopefully, opportunity to play Thursday night, and be with the team Friday, and then try to do the best I can over the next month,” Brady said.
Brady’s suspension formally begins Sept. 5 as the team gets ready for the season opener Sept. 11 in Arizona. He can return Oct. 3 as the team prepares for the Week 5 contest in Cleveland on Oct. 9.
Brady completed just 3-of-9 passes for 76 yards but two of those were big plays. His first pass attempt on the first play of the fourth series was a slant completion to Aaron Dobson for 37 yards. His second completion went for 33 yards, on a perfect over-the-shoulder pass for a touchdown to Chris Hogan. His final completion went for six yards to Julian Edelman.
Does Brady still feel he needs the work?
“I mean all that’s up to Coach Belichick. I wish I’d play every game. I love playing practice, I love playing preseason games, regular season games, postseason games. I love thinking about football . It’s just the way it is. That part I think will be very challenging, watching those games in September, but I’ll find ways to preoccupy my mind.”
In the meantime, Brady thinks the team will be in good hands with a wealth of leaders.
“Well, we’ve got a lot of great leaders on this team, and the veterans, I think we’ve got a lot of really good players, I lot of really good leaders,” Brady said. “I think we’ve always done a good job cultivating guys to step in and fill the void, and I think we’ll do a great job of that. I think between our coaches and our players, we’ve got a lot of great leaders, and I’m very confident in that. So we’ll go out there and play with a lot of energy and emotion like we always do.
“It’ll be tough to watch. It’ll be fun to watch, in some ways, to see what it looks like when you’re not there, because it’s a different perspective. And then hopefully I can use that perspective and then come back with better perspective, saying, ‘Wow, I really noticed some things that maybe I wouldn’t have seen had I been there. So that’s what I’m gonna try to do.”