Tom Brady knows there was a lot of debate last week about whether he should play in the preseason, especially following the scare he suffered Wednesday with his minor left knee injury.
But in Brady’s mind, there was no debate. If he’s healthy enough to play, he’s playing, even in the preseason.
“It’s your only game prep. I haven’t taken a hit in eight months,” Brady said Monday morning on his weekly appearance on WEEI. “It’s just hard to say, ‘Well, let’s just see what happens against Buffalo. You’ve got to put it in and see where you’re at and see the game speed and the reads. One play in a regular season game can cost you, so you’ve got to try to work those kinks out as best you can before the season starts.”
“Look, I hope we win every game by 50 points. But just ‘cause I hope that doesn’t mean that’s going to happen. We’ve got to go out and work at it.”
Brady and said the extent of his injury was overblown. It was the team’s second-to-last practice of the preseason that was open to the public and media. Starting Monday, practices are closed for the rest of the season.
“If that was a Wednesday or Thursday practice during the regular season, you’d probably never hear anything about it,” Brady said. “I felt bad it caused more of a media story than it actually was worth. We were just trying to be smart.”
Brady, now 36, also talked more about how his body is holding up better now than it did earlier in his career. He has stated several times this offseason that he wants to play until at least 40, and even floated the idea of playing to 50.
“I’m really efficient in the way I take care of my arm,” he said. “I used to count throws at practice. I used to worry that I was overthrowing at practice, and now I can throw a lot and my arm doesn’t scream at me and go, ‘What are you doing? … As you get older, you don’t have to suck. It doesn’t have to be that way. Now, if you want to cut a lot of corners, yeah it’s going to suck.”
The knee injury certainly didn’t slow Brady down on Friday against the Buccaneers, when he completed his first 11 passes before finally misfiring on his last attempt. Overall in the preseason Brady has completed 18-of-20 passes for 172 yards, with three of his four drives ending in touchdowns. Brady joked that the two incompletions were “both bad reads by the quarterback,” and he downplayed the success of the offense so far.
“I would say that we’re far from where we’re going to be,” he said.
“We’ve done some good things out there. Four possessions, three touchdowns – probably should’ve been better on that fourth drive. It’s been good at this point, but it really means zero at this point, also.”
Brady tossed a few complements at Danny Amendola and Zach Sudfeld, who each caught touchdowns on Friday night. Amendola caught six passes for 71 yards and already looks like an experienced veteran in the Patriots’ offense.
“He’s been really fun to work with,” Brady said. “You see it the other night, he’s very aware. He catches balls everywhere, he’s fearless. That’s everything you’re looking for in a great receiver.”
And Sudfeld, who also caught a two-point version from Brady, has impressed his teammates with his work ethic.
“He’s really continued to make improvements, and really impressed everybody because of the way he’s just come out to practice every day, and (been) determined to work harder and get better at the things maybe he wasn’t very good at coming out,” Brady said.