FOXBOROUGH — It’s season No. 13 for Tom Brady. That’s 13 training camps in the bag and and 13 cut-days in which friends, teammates, and would-be stars have departed the franchise during Brady’s tenure. And while the Patriots are making continued efforts to tweak this team’s 53-man roster, the veteran quarterback feels the shift is already underway at Gillette Stadium toward the week-to-week grind of an NFL season and beyond a week of locker room changes.
The NFL season kicks off with the Dallas Cowboys facing the New York Giants tonight, and the Patriots open their season Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
“There’s certainly a lot of excitement for everybody in the locker room,” Brady said. “It’s been a long training camp. I think everyone is excited to get to this point. It’s a very good team we’re playing. Certainly on defense we have a lot to prepare for, it’s a challenging scheme. We’ve spent quite a bit of time on them already. And this is really the feel of the normal week, the Wednesday morning meeting that we have with coach [Bill] Belichick. You walk out of that meeting and it’s just a different sense of urgency. I think all the players recognize that and we got to go out and have a good three days of preparation and then try to put together a good game for Sunday.”
On Friday, Brady lost some of his best friends in the locker room in WR Deion Branch, C Dan Koppen and fellow quarterback Brian Hoyer, who were cut as the team trimmed its roster to 53 players.
“I think in some ways you become a bit desensitized to it,” he said. “You know it’s not my decision so I can’t really think about it too much other than support your friends and what they’re going through. It’s not like I can go in and lobby for guys. What decisions have been made is always what coach always feels is in the best interest of the team. You just try to go out there and worry about doing your job. We had practiced that day, so we went out and practiced. And you try to have a good practice regardless of who is out there because if you don’t, you’re really doing a disservice to yourself, your teammates, and the franchise. So you got to try and go out and compartmentalize things and go out there and have good practices and ultimately be prepared for the game.”