Brady uses time out wisely

Practice missed, not opportunity

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / December 25, 2010

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FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady may not have been on the practice field Wednesday because of flu-like symptoms, but the illness didn’t impact his preparation for tomorrow’s game in Buffalo.

“None. None,’’ he said when asked if his work was affected by his illness.

There have been several weeks this season when Brady did not practice on Wednesday because of his foot sprain, but he always held his weekly news conference on that day. So when word came Wednesday morning that the Q&A session would be postponed, it was clear something was up with Brady.

He did return to practice Thursday, and is listed as probable for the Bills game.

What was Brady doing when he wasn’t on the field?

“Everything. All that stuff: treatment, film, still getting prepared, finding different things to do other than run around.

“You still use the time to prepare, certainly, get caught up on some other things that maybe you don’t get a chance to do when you’re out there practicing. It’s maybe a little more rehab, stuff like that.’’

Several Patriots players have had similar symptoms over the past week, and Brady wasn’t going to classify his illness as anything different.

“It’s just going around town,’’ he said. “But I’m feeling good. Good day of practice yesterday. Have to go out and have a good day today, get sharpened up and get ready to go play for a division title.’’

Like coach Bill Belichick and several of Brady’s teammates this week, the quarterback proclaimed the Bills to be better than their 4-10 record.

“This team fights their butt off,’’ Brady said. “They are a challenging team to face. There are probably some teams that have thrown in the towel at this point because they’re not really in it, but you would never say that about the Bills, the way these guys play.

“They have a veteran group. They have some young players who are really playing well. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.

“We have to go out there and really play a great game.’’

On a lighter note, the quarterback was asked about Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs’s claim earlier in the week that he left Brady off his Pro Bowl ballot in favor of Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.

In classic Brady style, he was able to get in a little zinger on Suggs, who has discovered that crowing about his dislike for Brady gets him attention.

“No reaction. I think he’s a great player. He really is,’’ Brady said.

“As a matter of fact, I didn’t get to vote actually. So I left everybody off my Pro Bowl roster this year because I was sick, unfortunately. But I would have voted for Terrell. He gets my vote.

“Such a nice guy.’’

Brady also confessed that he’s a sore loser. This week, Deion Branch talked about the ping-pong matches he and Brady have — the ones Branch frequently wins.

“He must have had a lot of free time in Seattle or something because he is a very good ping-pong player,’’ Brady quipped.

“I’m not very good, but when I play those guys who are real good, it [frustrates me] pretty good when I lose to them regardless. I’ve busted a few paddles and thrown a few remotes from those video games I used to play when I was younger.

“So I wouldn’t say I have the best attitude.’’

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