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Tom Brady, Ever the Cool Guy, Says the Patriots Have Learned A Lot in Joint Practices

RICHMOND, Va. — On a day it reached 90 degrees in Virginia as the Patriots joined Washington for a practice that lasted almost three hours, the first thing Tom Brady wanted us to know was how cool he was.

Of course he was. He was the coolest man on the field. And according to the cheers he got, close to as loved, if not more, than any player in burgundy and gold not named Robert Griffin III.

The Patriots starting quarterback had another solid outing in these joint practices and addressed the media for the first time afterward, glad that he had gotten extended work against a different defense for once.

"We’ve run a lot of lot of plays," Brady said. "This is probably one of the longer practices I can remember. We did a lot of situational stuff. It was a lot to do. I think we’re going to learn a lot from today’s practice. It’s been two fun days to go against another team and have a different kind of energy out here than a normal training camp practice. It’s been a lot of fun. Hopefully we finish off with one good day tomorrow then we play Thursday night."

Brady said he got 80 to 90 reps in Monday's practice and expected the numbers to be similar for Tuesday. That's not something he typically gets, he said.

"We got a lot of work against a good defense," he said. "There are a lot of different things that they do. They have some really good skill players on defense – some very good corners and safeties. We’re going to need to tighten our things up before Thursday night."

Rather than just a wearing down the players, these long practices have been good for the Patriots to build mental toughness.

"You see where you’re at," Brady said. "It’s certainly not easy to come out here and be out here for three hours and every drill is competitive and every drill you want to do the right thing but that’s where the mental toughness comes into play. You have to hunker down and see where you’re at. Our guys have worked pretty hard over the last couple days. [You’ve] lost a lot of fluid, you have to get in and really hydrate yourself so you can come out tomorrow and be at it again."

Other items of note Brady addressed:

- On speaking with RGIII: "Just briefly, just a couple times on the field. I got a chance to watch him and he’s been a great player since he came into the league and been a great player in college. He’s got a great future."

- On Ryan Mallett and his progression: "He’s done a great job. He’s just grown and become a great quarterback. You see it when he has these opportunities out here like he’s been getting. He really hasn’t gotten many over the years. But I think the whole team is confident that he can go out there and do the job."

- On how he celebrated his birthday in Richmond: "At the beautiful Hilton hotel where we were staying."

- On developing a special relationship with Julian Edelman: "Well, it’s hard to compare. I think Wes was such a special player for our team and I was fortunate enough to play with him for that period. But Julian in his own right has worked his tail off. I think he really had a great mentor in Wes, someone he could really look up to. They play a little bit similar; different players, but they both work extremely hard. Football is so important to the both of them and I think that really wore off on Julian. Julian has worked his tail off to get where he’s at. I think he’s really taken advantage of every opportunity that he’s gotten, Julian has. I’m really proud of him. He keeps coming out and making plays and he’s done such a great job being so dependable and reliable for our team, it’s great to have him."

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

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