FOXBOROUGH — Was Tom Brady sending a subtle message to his team about staying focused on the Jets during this short week?
“We’re just trying to prioritize our time, we don’t have much of it,” the Patriots quarterback said during Tuesday’s Q&A session with the media at Gillette Stadium. “We have to leave tomorrow. Hopefully everyone is spending their time wisely, not playing video games and stuff like that, trying to understand our plan and what we need to do. It’s a very tough place to play. We’ve always played this team very tough. It should be a fun night.”
This is the fifth time in team history the Patriots will be playing on Thanksgiving Day.
“It feels different than any game you play playing on this short of rest,” Brady said. “We’re just trying to put as much as we can into it in these three or four days. There’s just no time for anything other than the Jets, so you try to watch as much film as you can. I think we’re fortunate to have played them three weeks ago, so there’s some recall from that previous game, from the preparation that we put in before that game. But it’s definitely a challenge. It’s definitely a different – like I said, it challenges your mental toughness to see how much you can put into it and still be fresh for the game on Thursday night.”
Brady, who is 17-5 all-time against the Jets, also spoke about being without tight end Rob Gronkowski for the foreseeable future.
“He’s been a very productive player so other guys just have to step into that spot and do the job. That’s what it’s come down to and that’s football. Every team deals with it at one point or another. He’s a tough guy to replace but that’s what we need to do. ..
“Every player has some different strengths and so forth and you try to play to those guys’ strengths. I don’t think you go into it and you say…there’s only one Rob Gronkowski; there’s only one of those in the league. The guys that are going to be in there playing that role – Visanthe [Shiancoe] and Hooman [Michael Hoomanawanui] and Daniel [Fells] – they have to go in there and do the best they can do. That’s why they’re on the team and that’s why we have 53 guys on the roster: so everybody can contribute at one point or another.”
The Patriots, looking for their second straight series sweep against Rex Ryan’s Jets, beat New York 29-26 in memorable first meeting at Gillette Stadium in October.
“Obviously we didn’t execute very well,” Brady said regarding the first game between the AFC East rivals. “I think we had some opportunities that we just didn’t really take advantage of, and they played really well. They always seem to play us well. There’s been one game where we beat them up pretty well a few years ago, but other than that, they’ve all been pretty tight games. That’s just the way it is against the Jets.”