Morning sports update: Tom Brady doesn’t want ‘unfair expectations’ placed on N’Keal Harry

"I really love his tenacity and he’s learning every day, and he’s working hard to get better. I think that is all you can ask of a younger player."

Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry during the first half of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry during the first half of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions. –Duane Burleson/AP Photo

The Celtics defeated the Wizards at TD Garden on Wednesday night 140-133. It was Boston’s ninth win in a row after losing on opening night.

Both the Bruins and Celtics are off today, but have games tomorrow night. The Bruins are in Toronto against the Maple Leafs at 7 p.m., while the Celtics are in San Francisco to face the Warriors at 10:30 p.m.

Tom Brady spoke about N’Keal Harry: A recent subplot with the Patriots has been increased interest in rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry. The talented 21-year-old, who was New England’s first-round pick in 2019, was activated from injured reserve in early November after missing the first eight games of the season.

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However, Harry wasn’t on the team’s 53-man roster for the Sunday night game against the Ravens. What role Harry can play for the rest of the season has become a talking point for Patriots fans, given his potential (and the team’s need for playmakers on offense).

On Wednesday, Tom Brady called into WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” to help raise awareness for Christian Fauria’s “25 for 25’s” fundraiser. During the call, Brady was asked about Harry.

“I think with our team, what I think we’ve done over the years is we’ve not projected expectations for people that put them in an unfair position that people are expecting things that, you know, are not in my control,” said Brady. “If you want to ask someone like N’Keal how he feels he’s doing, you should ask him.”

“To ask me, and then put unfair expectations on a younger player, I don’t think that is helpful at all,” Brady continued. “It is really up to each individual player. It is not just N’Keal because I like N’Keal a lot. Everybody’s role is earned and I think that is the mark of the Patriots and that is part of the culture. You have to come out here and you have to earn a spot and earn a role. You do that through practice, earning the trust of your teammates and your coaches that you can be talented when the moments are their biggest.”

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Brady noted that Harry has shown positive signs since his return to the field.

“He’s working hard,” said Brady. “He’s extremely hard-working. He wants to do it. He’s got a great edge about him. I really love that. I really love his tenacity and he’s learning every day, and he’s working hard to get better. I think that is all you can ask of a younger player.”

Trivia: Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards came off the bench to score 18 points in last night’s win. Since 2000, what Celtics player has scored the most points in a single game off the bench?

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(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Before joining the Celtics, he once tried to earn a triple-double in the worst of ways.

More from Boston.com:

The Patriots will be represented at the Colin Kaepernick tryout:

Playing the Steelers hasn’t been good for Browns coaches, including a few former Patriots assistants:

A closer look at the passion Patriots safety Terrence Brooks has for photography:

On this day: In 1993, Dolphins coach Don Shula passed George Halas on the all-time NFL head coach wins list. The 325th win for Shula came in a 19-14 victory over the Eagles.

Coincidentally (given the opponent), Shula’s quarterback that day wasn’t Dan Marino  —who was out injured — but Doug Pederson, future Philadelphia coach and Super Bowl LII winner. Pederson came in when Scott Mitchell, already filling in for Steve DeBerg (who was himself filling in for Marino), separated his shoulder.

Shula would go on to total 347 career wins before retiring. Currently, Bill Belichick is on 300 career wins.

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Daily highlight: Austin Rivers, playing for the Rockets, signaled for his father, Doc Rivers (head coach of the Clippers), to get a technical foul:

The younger Rivers noted that the coming holiday might be “weird”:

Trivia answer: Ricky Davis (and a look back at his failed triple-double).

Video: Can the Ravens beat the Patriots

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