Brady Back, Maintaining the Same Approach – It’s been a different preseason for Tom Brady, who thanks to his suspension finds himself somewhat on the back-burner as the coaching staff continues to try and bring Jimmy Garoppolo up to speed in preparation for the 2016 season.
Brady hasn’t played in the preseason thus far and missed his most recent opportunity last Thursday night thanks to a mishap with scissors that knocked him out of action after reports prior to the contest had said the veteran was expected to start. Instead, he left the stadium as the Patriots went on to beat Chicago 23-22 to improve to 2-0 in the preseason.
Brady was back in Foxboro Tuesday after two excused absences on Sunday and Monday for what Belichick called a “personal” situation and returned to practice as the team begins getting ready to take on the Panthers this week. Normally this is the “dress rehearsal” where the starters see plenty of action to get some final work in before the season starts. For Brady, despite knowing what’s in his future to begin 2016, he said it hasn’t affected his approach and he’s been trying to stay in the same routine.
“I try to approach it the same way,” said Brady. “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.”
For now, all he can do is continue working hard. While he won’t be the player who will be under center to start the year, he knows that his time will come and the hard work will eventually pay off. It always has, and his team will need him to be at his best when the time does finally come.
“I think it’s just putting in effort, as much effort as you can in each day to try to be prepared,” said Brady. “I try to treat it no different because I always try to do the best I can to do 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.”
Belichick Admitted Brown’s Release Stemmed From Injury – When Bill Belichick spoke to the media on Tuesday he was asked about the release of running back Donald Brown, who the team reached an injury settlement with before releasing him.
Brown hadn’t practiced during training camp and just wasn’t able to get healthy, which Belichick admitted is disappointing when it comes to trying to evaluate players with such a limited window as they try and build their roster.
“Yeah, he hasn’t been available for a while,” Belichick told the media of Brown on Tuesday. “Yeah, it’s unfortunate. He worked hard; he’s a really good kid. We just never really got the chance to see him.”
“You don’t have anything to go on. Yeah, that’s hard.”
Brady wasn’t able to play Thursday night and left the stadium before the game. (USA TODAY Images)
On Injured Players at Games, Belichick Said “It depends” – According to Brady, Belichick was the one who decided he’d sit the game out following his mishap with scissors last Thursday night, which saw him leave the stadium as his teammates battled the Bears.
Belichick was asked about whether or not injured players are in the stadium during games, and the head coach offered a bit of insight but didn’t go into too much detail.
“Some are, some aren’t, but what difference does it make? It doesn’t make any difference,” said Belichick .”The guys that are out there playing are playing. The guys that aren’t playing, they’re doing something else, whatever that happens to be. They could be doing treatment, they could be at home, they could be here, they could be – you’ve seen them up in the press box – so it depends on what their situation is, what they need to do.”
Sheard Returns to Practice – One notable defensive player who has been battling an injury has been Jabaal Sheard, who, according to the Boston Herald, has been dealing with an MCL sprain he suffered during the team’s preseason opener against the Saints. It kept him out of action all of last week, as well as the team’s match-up with Chicago Thursday night.
The injury is expected to take about 4-weeks to recover, but Sheard was spotted on the practice field Tuesday, which is encouraging news as the team continues getting ready for the 2016 regular season.
The veteran is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, finishing with 8 sacks, the most he’s had since 2011 when he finished with 8.5. He also forced four fumbles and had two passes defensed as he ended up becoming a disruptive presence in New England’s defense.
It’s a big year for Sheard, who will be a free agent after this season if the Patriots can’t extend him. The veteran defensive lineman said earlier this offseason that his contract isn’t on his mind, and he’s just focused on helping the team win.
“I’m not even thinking about that,” Sheard told NESN’s Doug Kyed at a PLAY 60 event at Slater Park in Pawtucket, R.I back in June. “I’m just focused on this season and going out there to take care of business and win as many games as we can possibly win.”