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Tom Brady on K&C: ‘I feel better now at 39 than I did when I was 29′

10.10.16 at 7:32 am ET
By
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his first appearance of the season on Kirk & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about his first game back Sunday against the Browns, and also to reflect on his four weeks away from the team. To hear the interview, visit the K&C audio on demand page.

With Brady missing the first four games, some have speculated it may be a good thing with his body being more ready for games later in the season just by not playing in the first four games. The quarterback dismissed that idea, saying he feels good every week, noting he even felt good prior to last year’s AFC title game against the Broncos.

“I would have much rather have been playing,” Brady said. “Hard to say. I feel pretty good. Every week I feel pretty good. I think at the end of the Denver game last year, at the end of the season, after that game — well, I was a little sore after that game — but I felt pretty good going into that game. I’ve talked at length about how I have been feeling over the years. I feel better now at 39 than I did when I was 29.

“I think it’s due to a lot of things. I feel like I am in a good routine and if I play a game like yesterday I feel like by Wednesday practice I am geared up and ready to go. It’s not like I do a ton of running anyway. I just kind of stand in the pocket, drop back and make the throws. You have to take some hits from time-to-time. For the most part, quarterbacks can stand in there and play a long time. For me it’s tough to tell.”

Brady went 28-for-40 with 406 yards and three touchdowns in his return Sunday in the Patriots’ 33-13 win over the Browns. He said he felt better as the week went on and there wasn’t much rust some Sunday afternoon.

“It felt, I would say a little of both,” he said. “As I started the week, because I hadn’t been there in four weeks it was a little different for me just kind of getting everything — getting back on the field with the full cast of defensive players and seeing blitzes, identifying fronts and things like that. It comes back pretty quick. I thought Wednesday was decent and then Thursday I felt a little better out there and then Friday I felt way better than Thursday. I was hoping Sunday I would feel better than I did on Friday. By the time I got out there in warmups, it felt kind of like, ‘Man, I’ve done this before.’

“We put together, our coaches put together a great plan. I thought the team really played great. Defensively we really played great. The skill guys played so well. The offensive line did great. It was fun to be out there. Fun to be apart of winning games and I loved getting on the bus after the game and having a great time.”

Brady also touched on his workouts during his four weeks away from the team, speaking of the importance of him taking hits to simulate what takes place during games.

“I was getting hit,” he said. “It wasn’t just come let me stand there and decleat me. I think it was more just someone there with pads and a bag and trying to simulate some of the ways what was going to happen like yesterday. Your body needs to get used it it. Part of my job is taking a hit, so it’s not like you can not take a hit for four weeks, especially when you see your teammates out there taking hits. It was just understanding how to absorb those things and still have contact and make a throw and how to avoid some of those things. Kind of like drills we do during practice as quarterbacks that Josh [McDaniels] puts us through. Just trying to simulate a lot of those things so when I came back, it felt like that wasn’t the first time I was touched in four weeks. That was an important part of preparation.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

On the fan support on Cleveland: “Yeah, it was very cool, especially right behind our bench. I don’t know if they put all the Patriots fans there, but when I looked back it was just all blue jerseys. I was sitting next to Josh [McDaniels] on the way in and he was like, ‘Man, there’s a lot of Patriots fans here today.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ I guess someone from the ticket office had told him there was going to be a ton of Patriots fans. It was a really cool experience. At the end of the game I always think going on the road and winning is very hard to do in the NFL, but half the stadium was there and I think everyone that was left was all Patriots fans, in the fourth quarter. Just a great way to end the day and to run off the field as see everyone cheering, it was very special.”

On not being able to communicate with his teammates for four weeks: “Yeah, and I think so much on a regular basis I am always in touch with them. For four weeks and you’re not able to do that, yeah, there’s definitely, you know, there’s definitely an adjustment to that. At the same time, I want all those guys to have their space and be able to do their job because I know during the football season I don’t really want a lot of people calling me because my days are packed. I have so many things to do, so much film to watch, workouts to do and treatment. For me to kind of get in the way of their preparation wasn’t the right way to do it either. They were doing great and I would send little words of encouragement to my friends on the team just saying good luck and hope you’re feeling better and stuff like that. Obviously, you can’t talk to the coaches. I would normally talk to Josh [McDaniels] like five times a day. To not talk to him for a month was pretty different also.”

On if this offensive group is the best he’s ever played with: “Well, it’s so hard to say. I think every year is a little bit different. I love the guys that I am playing with now. I’ve played with so many great players. It’s hard to compare. When you’ve played with Kevin Faulk and Wes [Welker] and Deion [Branch]. I’ve played with so many great players and now the guys I am playing with now, it’s been so fun. They’ve been so into it. The team has really come together. Chris [Hogan] has done an amazing job. Martellus [Bennett], just referring to new guys and then when you put Julian [Edelman] and Gronk and Danny [Amendola] and Malcolm Mitchell to come in as a rookie — there hasn’t been many rookie receivers that have contributed and Malcolm has been out there a lot making a lot of plays. It’s just been fun to see. When I was watching I was so impressed by the way they played and to be out there yesterday on the field, just the attitude and professionalism to go out and try and give their best, do exactly what the coaches ask. It was great to see really first-hand.”

On if he felt that his preseason snaps helped him Sunday: “I think it’s always important to play. Some guys see it a little bit differently. I was a part of all those spring practices and I did all those, part of all the training camp practices, six weeks of practice. The game reps in the preseason, I mean, I always like to play, just because I like to play. But there are certain guys that never play in the preseason and go out there and play great to start the year. [In 2007] Randy Moss didn’t play a snap in the preseason and he went out and had 23 touchdown catches that year. It’s just different preparation for everybody. I think just personally I would love to play as much as I can because I think that’s how you learn and get better and you get used to the speed and the tempo things, and then you’re able to really kind of feel the game. Then when the regular season comes you get out there and you’re kind of ready to go. I didn’t probably have as much time as I would have wanted to in the preseason, but that was a product of a lot of things. You just try to do the best you can do with what you’ve got.”

On what he could have done better Sunday: “Some of the identification, some of the things that I was seeing to help the offensive line out, to help us and our receivers kind of get on the same page with certain routes that I wish I could have got to. It was just taking me a little bit longer to kind of see some of those things. Normally I would be very sharp. Sometimes I was kind of trying to diagnose the front and the coverage. I think those things will hopefully will get a little better next week.”

On Martellus Bennett: “He’s kind of been doing that since he got here in the spring. He’s such a tough matchup for everybody because he’s 280 pounds and he’s fast and he’s very smart, he’s got very good instincts, his run after catch is great. That’s what he’s been doing. It’s always hard to tell until you get out there in pads and you do it week after week. He’s been just such a great contributor. He’s just been so productive in a short period of time. He played a great game yesterday.”

On watching Jimmy Garoppolo fill in for him: “He’s done such a great job. Not only in the games, but just in the practices. His leadership and what he provides a team is just awesome. I’m so proud of him. He’s done everything that everyone’s asked. He’s taken advantage of the opportunities. That’s anything you can ask of a player. It’s great to see him do it. He brings it every day, and that’s what it takes to be a pro football player.”

On if he’s talked to Donald Trump at all over the last month: “I don’t think so. I’ve been just trying to get ready and prepared and so forth.”

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