Patriots’ QB says being in shape and protecting yourself are keys to NFL longevity.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady had some interesting things to say on a number of subjects following Saturday’s practice. Among the topics discussed were quarterback sneaks in wake of Patrick Mahomes injury, getting a lead on officiating, Monday night games and the Jets.
Let’s start with Mahomes, who suffered a dislocated kneecap making a sneak on a fourth-and-one play during the Monday night game against the Broncos.
Asked what he does to avoid a similar type injury, Brady, not surprisingly, gave a nod to his training regime.
“Pliability, man,” Brady said with a smile, speaking at his locker. “That’s what I work on every day.”
Asked if Mahomes injury was simply a freak thing, Brady chalked it up to football.
“It’s a contact sport, guys get hurt all the time, that’s the nature of a physical sport,” said Brady. “If you run around, you just gotta do your best to avoid getting injured. Sometimes, you can’t.”
Brady said there’s nothing special to his long-held success on the sneak. He’s just trying to get the first down.
“I try to go to the soft spot of the defense and get as many yards as I can,” he said.
Shawn Hochuli and his crew are scheduled to officiate Monday night’s game. They tend to be penalty-happy. Brady was asked if the team would go in with any preconceived notions.
“Coach (Bill Belichick) talks about that. He talks about what they call and so forth. This particular crew might call a lot of holdings or defensive pass penalties. We do discuss that,” said Brady.
“But once you get out there, I think you do business as business is being done. Sometimes they call it a little tighter. Sometimes they let you play a little bit.
“But, in football, there’s penalties on every play, it’s whether they call them or not. If they call them tight, you just have to be cognizant of that.”
As for playing on Monday night, it may have lost some of its mystique, but Brady still enjoys it.
“Monday Night Football’s great. It’s only once a year we get to do it. I think with the Thursday night games now, and Sunday night games and so forth, it’s taken a little steam out of it. (But) it’s still a special night,” he said.
“We’ve had a little extra time to prepare. They’re going to be ready to go. They’ve got a big physical defensive front, aggressive coaches, coaches that have coached against us quite a few times. They’ll be fired up and ready to go.”
Jets love Darnold
Asked if the approach changes with Sam Darnold as opposed to Luke Falk, linebacker Dont’a Hightower didn’t want to give away too much.
“Maybe ... maybe a little bit,” said Hightower. “Obviously, he’s a good quarterback. He’s comfortable. The other guys around him love him. You could tell (last week) the energy he brought. He plays with a lot of ... not cockiness, but he’s comfortable and confident with what he’s doing ... that’s what you want in a quarterback, to be able to rally around a guy. And they do that.”
Gordon is out
Receiver Josh Gordon (knee/ankle), and tight ends Matt LaCosse (knee) and Ryan Izzo (concussion) missed practice again and have been ruled out for the Jets game.
Among the players with limited practice time, Belichick was asked about the possible return of Rex Burkhead, and dealing with how much the options change for the offense when he can’t play. The Patriots coach hinted having a mini-bye from playing last Thursday might help some players dealing with injuries.
“Well, look, you’d like to have everybody for every game. It doesn’t always happen. If it doesn’t happen, then you adjust and work with the people that you can work with,” he said. “So, we’ll see how it goes with Rex and some of the other guys. ... Part of having a long week, it gives you a little bit of extra time, so we’ll see how it comes together here today and tomorrow with some of these guys.”
The Gilmore effect
Robby Anderson is the Jets top receiver. The past few years, that distinction has typically bought him a date with Stephon Gilmore. The results? Since 2016, Anderson has been held to 15 catches for 169 yards with no touchdowns. Coincidentally, the Jets are 0-7 in those games.
Gilmore, however, gave him props.
“He’s a great receiver,” Gilmore said Friday. “You know, it’s a new week. You’ve got to prove yourself each and every week. I’m looking forward to playing against him and doing the best I can to win our matchup.”
Anderson caught a 92-yard touchdown pass from Darnold last week against the Cowboys.
Rookie linebacker Chase Winovich was fined $7,017 by the league for throwing a football into the stands after scoring his first career TD during the Week 6 win over the Giants.