Oct 12, 2016 6:19 PM
FOXBORO, Mass. – The New England Patriots return to Gillette Stadium after a road win, now with MVP quarterback Tom Brady in tow.
During his first press conference in Foxboro since returning from his four-week suspension, Brady said he’s still working on getting back into the regular season routine.
“It just still feels like I’m getting into it, even last week just kind of working my way back,” he said. “This week has felt, Monday and Tuesday, more normal, and hopefully that continues today.”
He may be bouncing back better than he thinks. On Wednesday, Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
In his regular-season debut last week against the Cleveland Browns, Brady threw three touchdowns and went 28/40 completions for 406 yards.
Brady added he was excited to get back to the fans here in New England.
“It’s always pretty fun to be out there,” he said. “We’ve got a great crowd and hopefully we give them lots of reasons to cheer. We’ve always had such great support here, and it’s just a great place to play.”
The one thing Brady clearly did not want to talk about was politics.
Reporters during the press conference were warned Brady would only answer one more question. However, after someone asked if Brady, as a parent, how would we respond to Trump’s comments in 2005 that he’s classified as “locker room” talk.
Brady chose not to answer the question, thus ending the press conference. He smiled, shrugged off the question, turned to the rest of the room and said, “Thanks guys. Have a good day.”
And then it was back to business.
The entire organization touted the talent they’ll face in Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are now 2-3 on the season.
“This will be a big and tough test for us this week,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “Very good football team, well coached, a lot of talent. I have a lot of respect for the Bengals, from top to bottom.”
With the Patriots defense still slowly improving, players reiterated they have to take the task ahead of them seriously.
“We know no matter what they’ve done in the run game, it’ll be a big part of the game,” Devin McCourty said. “They’re going to come here and they’re going to run it. We have to play well defensively.”
Players hoped that’ll be matched by another exciting performance from the offense. First-year Patriot Chris Hogan – who hadn’t played with Tom Brady until last Sunday – had four receptions totaling more than 100 yards.
“It’s just one of those things where you always have to be running and you never know when the ball’s coming, especially on those deep routes,” Hogan said. “That just goes to show you never know when it’s going to come to you, no matter where you are in the read. That kind of gives you the trust of the quarterbacks and the coaches.”
Still, the hype of having Brady back “home” was hard to ignore.
When asked if fans would be extra into the game, Danny Amendola said, “It’s going to be jumpin’ for sure. It’s going to be a fun atmosphere to play in.”
This Sunday is the Patriots’ last home game for the next five weeks, so players were hoping to soak up as much energy as they could. Kickoff against the Bengals is at 1 p.m.
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