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Tom Brady: Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski could get jealous of Gisele Bunchden 09.13.16 at 10:51 am ET
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Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Despite being suspended, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still joins Jim Gray on Westwood One’s pregame show each Monday prior to Monday Night Football.

This week Brady talked about Jimmy Garoppolo and the Patriots’ Week 1 win over the Cardinals, but also discussed what he’s been doing to stay sharp during his suspension, which included throwing passes to wife Gisele Bundchen over the weekend.

“I’ve got to be careful not to throw it too hard,” Brady said. “She doesn’t like it when I put too much velocity on it. She’s a very talented woman, I’ll say that. It’s fun to have her out there playing catch. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. I joke that if she was one my receivers, she’d get every pass I threw, so I think Julian and Gronk might get a little bit jealous.”

The quarterback also detailed what he’s been doing on a daily basis to keep his body in shape.

“I’m finding different ways [to stay in shape],” Brady said. “Each workout is a little different depending on what I’m working on. I’m just trying to stay in football shape because it’s football season, to find ways to have some people I work with, with bags, to hit me and be able to make throws with people chasing after you, and to work on my mechanics, to keep my movement in the pocket, my drops fluid, I think just all those things. It’s a lot of field work, a little bit in the gym, a lot of body work I always get in order to keep my body balanced.

“I’m just trying to really mimic what I would normally do during the season. That’s work out four-to-five times a week, stay sharp throwing the ball. Mentally, it’s a little challenging because I don’t get all the film work that I’d really like to get, but that’s just what we’re dealing with.”

Here are a few more highlights from the interview.

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Tom Brady: Jimmy Garoppolo ‘great’ in dramatic win over Cardinals 09.12.16 at 9:49 pm ET
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Tom Brady had nothing but good things to say about the performance of the Patriots this week. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tom Brady had nothing but good things to say about the performance of the Patriots this week. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Tom Brady praised the performance of Jimmy Garoppolo in the Patriots’ opener against the Cardinals, saying that the youngster “was great” in Sunday night’s dramatic 23-21 win over Arizona.

Speaking with Jim Gray on Westwood One as part of a weekly segment on Monday night, Brady supported the work of Garoppolo, as well as the rest of the roster, for all doing their part in the dramatic road victory.

“I thought he was great,” Brady said of Garoppolo, who was 24-for-33 for 264 yards and a touchdown pass. “I thought it was a great night for him and our whole offense. I think the one thing you realize as the quarterback is everyone being in sync and being on the same page and the communication with your teammates is so critical. For us to go in there and get a win like that, it was great for … obviously our offensive football team. The defense played great. Special teams. It’s such a team sport. And Jimmy did everything he was asked to. It was a great way to start the season for our team.”

He added: “It was a great game to watch. That’s a tough environment to play in. The team went in there and it looked like they were focused, prepared. They played well in so many areas. It was great to see the offense get off to a great start with a great first drive. A lot of great plays from Jimmy and the skill players. The offensive line did a great job. To get up, 10-0 like that is huge. I think that was a great way to start the game for our team. We always talk about starting fast, and we certainly got off to a fast start last night.”

As for how he spent the day, Brady said he was at home in Boston with family and friends, working out and watching football.

“It was fun to sit on the couch and see a lot of those games from a different perspective,” he said. “It was great to see the Patriots finish off the night with a huge win in Arizona. So I was really pumped to see that.”

Brady said he spent the bulk of his time Sunday afternoon watching the Red Zone Channel.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s a great way to just kind of watch how a lot of the flows of games are going. See lots of situations. There’s a lot to learn every week in the NFL.

“Football is great to watch on TV. You get so many different angles and replays and you don’t get those things when you’re playing. A lot of times, you don’t know how well you did until you watch the film after the game. But when you see it on TV and they show the replays, it’s just a great sport to watch,” he added. “It was just so much fun to watch.”

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
Jimmy Garoppolo impresses Bill Belichick with his pocket presence, command in win at 7:44 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo averaged 2.03 seconds from snap-to-throw. (Matt Kartozian/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo was able to sense the pressure Sunday night. (Matt Kartozian/USA Today Sports)

Every quarterback has plays in every game that define and determine his success.

Jimmy Garoppolo, making his first NFL start, had several of those Sunday night that helped him prove to the Patriots coaches that he is fully capable of handling himself under pressure.

In his conference call Monday, Bill Belichick touched on a couple of them. On third-and-15 at his own 20, and the Patriots down 21-20, Garoppolo scrambled and found Danny Amendola for 32 yards. Later in the same drive, Garoppolo converted another big play to Amendola.

There was also Garoppolo’s only touchdown pass on the night, a line-adjust to spot Chris Hogan in man-to-man press coverage with rookie Brandon Williams, a converted running back on the outside by himself. The result was Hogan spinning Williams around like a top after Garoppolo’s call at the line and a 37-yard touchdown for the game’s first score.

Garoppolo did not take any sacks and the Patriots were able to get a 32-yard go-ahead field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

Earlier in the game, Garoppolo leaned more on Julian Edelman, scrambling around and completing his first six passes to the No. 1 receiving target. In the fourth quarter, Garoppolo moved up in the pocket and found Edelman on a 10-yard play, only to have it called back.

“I think Jimmy does a good job in the pocket. He has got good vision,” Belichick said. “He saw a couple of opportunities to run and then he saw a couple of other opportunities to slide in the pocket, extend the play. The play you’re talking about to [Danny] Amendola – that was one.

“He had another one to Julian [Edelman] that got called back but I thought it was another kind of equally good play where he slid up in the pocket, didn’t cross the line of scrimmage and hit Julian for the first down, but the play was called back because of a penalty. But I thought he did a good job of that. He doesn’t hang on to the ball. He gets it out of there on time but if things are covered then he has made good decisions in and out of the pocket on those extended plays.”

Tom Brady has often been hailed as a quarterback who is his own best offensive lineman, constantly sensing pressure in the pocket and when to get rid of it. Garoppolo showed that Sunday night in his own style.

“I think all of the good quarterbacks are good at that,” Belichick said. “They know when they’re under pressure. They just have that sense. They know when they’re hurried, they’re under pressure and they have to get rid of it. They know then there’s a little bit of extra time to hold the ball in the pocket. They know when they have to get out of the pocket, and then they have to make a decision as to whether to run or extend the play and throw it before the rush kind of reconvenes around them. I mean that’s something that all quarterbacks do and it’s just the sense that you learn from playing that position. Your eyes are downfield but you feel the rush.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Brandon Williams, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
Julian Edelman on OM&F: ‘We were against the world’ vs. Cardinals at 1:16 pm ET
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Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman, who had seven catches on seven targets in Sunday night’s 23-21 victory over the Cardinals, checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday to discuss the game and Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance. To hear the interview, go to the Ordway, Merloni & Fauria audio on demand page.

The Patriots entered the contest as 9.5-point underdogs, the largest point spread against them since Super Bowl XXXVI. Without Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and others, they still went on the road and won.

Following the missed field goal in the final seconds, the Patriots sideline exploded with excitement, similar to a playoff win. While Edelman said the team didn’t pay attention to what the outsiders were saying leading into the game, maybe the team did in fact know there were a lot of doubters out there.

“It seems like every time we are in that dang stadium it comes down to the wire and we enjoyed the win,” Edelman said. “It’s plain and simple. We know there’s a lot of things we need to do a lot better, but at that point in time we enjoyed it. Now, it’s Monday and we have to get ready for a divisional game against Miami and that’s how it goes. But, at that point in time, it was an exciting time to go out there — we were against the world, I guess.”

Edelman finished the game with seven catches on seven targets for 66 yards. It was his first regular season game since breaking his foot last season against the Giants and perhaps he played with more emotion than usual.

“I don’t know. Sunday Night Football, starting out there year, it was a tough offseason,” he said. “I had to work really hard to get back. I put a lot of hours in and I wanted to go out and play hard. Go out there and show my teammates that I am out there for them and doing everything I can to help the team win.”

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Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady,
Opening Act: How did Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance Sunday compare to other first starts by Patriots’ quarterbacks? at 12:24 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo smiles as he walks off the field after Sunday's game. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo smiles as he walks off the field after Sunday’s game. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lit it up Sunday night against the Cardinals, stepping in for a suspended Tom Brady and going 22-for-33 for 264 yards and a touchdown (and a passer rating of 106.1) in a 23-21 win over Arizona. How did his performance compare to the first starts of some previous Patriots’ signal callers? You can argue it was one of the best in recent memory. Here’s a look back at some other opening acts:

Tom Brady: After working in relief of Drew Bledsoe the week before, Brady got his first NFL start with the Patriots on Sept. 30, 2001 against the Colts in Foxboro. He certainly wasn’t overwhelming, but did a nice job leaning on those around him on the way to a 44-13 win for New England. Brady went 13-for-23 for 168 yards, with no touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 79.6.

Matt Cassel: Stepping in for an injured Brady (who went down for the season the week before), Cassel made his first professional start in North Jersey against the Jets on Sept. 14, 2008, and helped the Patriots pull off a 19-10 win over Brett Favre and Gang Green. Cassel went 16-for-23 for 165 yards, with no touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 89.9.

Drew Bledsoe: The 21-year-old Bledsoe, who was the first overall pick in the draft that year, stepped right in as a starter in his rookie year. In the 1993 opener, he went 14-for-30 for 148 yards, with two touchdown passes and one interceptions. he finished with a passer rating of 69.9 — but the Patriots ended up losing to the host Bills, 38-14.

Scott Zolak: With the 1992 team winless through its first nine games, Zolak got the call for his first professional start just over the midway point of the season, and helped lead the Patriots to a dramatic 37-34 win over the Colts in Indy. He went 20-for-29 for 261 yards, with two touchdown passes and one pick, which all added up to a passer rating of 105.7.

Read More: Drew Bledsoe, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Cassel, Scott Zolak
Julian Edelman’s message to Tom Brady: ‘Love you buddy. We’re going to get a couple more for you’ at 12:59 am ET
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Everyone knows how close Julian Edelman and Tom Brady are.

This is why it wasn’t a shock when NBC’s Michele Tafoya asked Edelman after the game if he had a message for his quarterback, who missed the game as part of his Deflategate suspension.

“Love you buddy. We’re going to get a couple more for you. A few more,” Edelman said.

This came immediately following the Patriots’ 23-21 win over the Cardinals in Arizona. Edelman obviously added “a few more” after saying “a couple” since the Patriots still have three games left without Brady as he will return Week 5 in Cleveland.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady reacts to Patriots’ win over Cardinals on Facebook at 12:12 am ET
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Looks like Tom Brady was watching the game Sunday night.

Immediately after the game, Brady posted a picture of a newspaper called the “TB Times” with the headline “Pats anger Birds” after the Patriots beat the Cardinals, 23-21.

Looks like this will be a regular thing for the quarterback after games. Hopefully he works on his headline, though.

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