New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady poses with a young fan at Gillette Stadium. (Robert E. Klein / Globe Photos)
FOXBOROUGH – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a surprise guest at the Patriots’ annual Salvation Army Holiday Party tonight at Gillette Stadium. He spoke with media members for about two minutes after signing autographs for those in attendance.
At one point, Brady threw a Nerf football to 10-year-old Abismal Vargas of Providence, R.I., for his first completion since injuring his left knee in the season opener Sept. 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is the Q&A session with media members:
What are you able to do from a rehab standpoint?
“I’m here to talk about this Patriots Charitable Foundation. That’s what we’re all here for.”
So you missed the attention, you wanted to come out and visit with everyone?
“It’s the holiday season, so I think everyone’s got that holiday spirit. You see the kids and I was there one day. I had so many idols growing up, people that I loved to watch on TV. All of our teammates come out and support the foundation, and I know it’s an important part for Mr. Kraft, so I think it’s important for all our players to do this.”
Is it nice to get out? We haven’t seen you much?
“I’ve been out. I’ve been out, moving around, excited to see our team win. I think that’s the most exciting part for me.”
How are you feeling, I think everybody wants to know, and wants details?
“I feel great when our team wins, I’ll tell you that. This last weekend; we have a lot of toughness on our team. I hope we can win out, this game certainly, and move forward and hopefully get a little bit of luck.”
Impressed with Matt Cassel’s performance so far?
“He’s done incredible. I think he’s had a very tough week. He’s had a lot of support from his teammates. He’s a great person, a great teammate, a great friend, and he’s such a mentally tough person. Just the success that I’ve seen from him and his maturity is exceptional.”
The condition of the left knee, is the infection cleared at this point?
“Belichick never wants us to talk about any of that. We’re just going to root, the season is not over. I’m on injured reserve, so I can’t do much for the team at this point, other than show my support.”
How tough has it been to be a spectator this year?
“Like I said, when we win, I’m excited for us. When we lose, it stinks. It’s no different when you’re playing or when you’re watching. My heart and soul is with this team, so you live and die with every win and loss.”
At that point, Brady told media members he wanted to get going. He was asked one final question if he was healthy enough to play golf. “I wish,” he responded. “Not in this weather, although yesterday I probably could have.”