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Reason to look optimistically at Brady

Posted by Albert Breer  June 21, 2010 09:27 AM

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And as hard as a guy like Brady is driving at something like that, and as many hours as he might be spending, it would've been impossible to devote the kind of time to football that he did in offseason he was healthy and didn't have to worry about a major rehabilitation.

That, for Rivers, is what made the 2008 and '09 offseasons so different.

"I was able to balance (the rehab and football work) that first year," Rivers said. "And I had my best year. But that second year, removing the rehab, you can do more, and you're a year better."

Rivers had almost identical completion percentages (65.3 in '08; 65.2 in '09) and TD-INT ratios (34-11 in '08; 28-9 in '09) in the two years, took 25 sacks in each of those seasons, and threw for a few more yards in 2009 than 2008 (4,009 in '08; 4,254 in '09). But in 2009, he really did carry the offense, as the once potent running game slid to 31st in the league, and guided the Chargers to a 13-3 record.

In the end, he'd never want to go through the whole ordeal again. But he does actually think he's better now for having gone through it.

"(It's) probably mental toughness, and in the pure dedication it takes in the process," Rivers said. "There's no quick answer to rehabbing off a knee injury like that. You just keep fighting. It affects everything. Sleeping at night, it hurt. So you really do appreciate having it healthy.

"Last year, to get through the season with nothing major happening was awesome. But man, you really do sympathize with guys going though it. Ultimately, doing that probably made me better as a player and a man."
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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