In case it hasn’t become clear at this point that Bill Belichick will play most of his starters/top players on Sunday and that said players want to play against the Dolphins, Tom Brady summed it all up nicely this morning:
“We’re playing. That’s just the way it is. It’s a football game, I’m the starting quarterback of the team. I’m going to play,” he said.
So while we aren’t sure how long he’ll play, there’s no question he will start.
But we likely will see Brady’s backup, Brian Hoyer. Of the second-year player, Brady said, “He’s a great player…even though he’s a Michigan State kid. He’s come a long way. For any quarterback, from the first to the second year there’s a big jump.
“He has all the physical skills, all he needs is opportunity.”
Brady was asked about his ability to freelance or be an offensive coordinator of sorts since he’s been in the same offense for so long, and he revealed a remarkable factoid.
“I’ve played in this offense my entire career, so a lot of the things we do now have evolved in my time here. There’s plays called on a weekly basis that I’ve run thousands of times, and there’s a comfort in that,” he said. “There’s a play this week that was the first play I ran when I came in for Drew (Bledsoe) against the Jets (in 2001).”
For the record, that play was a four-yard pass to back Patrick Pass out of the shotgun formation.
Brady was also asked about his initial thoughts on Wes Welker as New England pulled the trigger on bringing him to the Pats from the Dolphins.
“I didn’t know much about Wes as a person, (but) certainly playing them in Miami and watching a lot of what he was doing over the seasons that he was there, I was very intrigued by him,” Brady said. “I remember watching him on film and saying to Scott Pioli, ‘when is this guy’s contract up? This is our kind of guy. He returns punts, he plays hard, he blocks in the run game, he’s so good at those routes we ask him to run.’ So he was just, from the day he got here, you were so impressed by his work ethic and his toughness.”
One thing Brady wouldn’t do is evaluate his own season to this point, which now includes his being named a Pro Bowler for the sixth time.
“The only thing I really think about is what we have to do this week,” he said. “We put ourselves in a good position, I think it would be great to finish it off the right way this week, and go out there and play a real good game against a team we’ve split with the last few years. I don’t get into all the personal evaluation or anything like that; I think that’s a waste of time for me…probably all of my teammates too.”