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Brady spotted at sendoff

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  January 27, 2008 11:26 AM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady returned. His boot didn't.

The Patriots quarterback reappeared with his teammates at a snowy Super Bowl departure rally this morning without the protective boot on his right foot that caused a major stir last week.

Brady, who was dressed in a pinstriped suit and was not wearing an overcoat despite the snowy conditions, addressed the Gillette Stadium crowd, but did not mention his famous foot.

"Now this is the Foxborough faithful right here," Brady said. "We could just play the game today.

"We're going down there for one reason. The reason is to win and bring the trophy back to Foxborough."

Though he did not address his high ankle sprain, he was spotted walking to the team buses after the rally and did not appear to be limping.

One fan in the stands at the Gillette Stadium rally held a sign: BRADY- GIVE THE GIANTS THE `BOOT.

After returning to Foxborough on Wednesday from a trip to New York to be with supermodel girlfriend Gisele Bundchen, Brady wasn't seen by reporters and cameramen the next two days while they were allowed into the locker room and at practice.

There was no media availability Saturday, and Brady hadn't spoken in public since his news conference right after New England's 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game the previous Sunday.

Last Monday, Brady was spotted wearing the boot outside Bundchen's home. Later that day and on Tuesday, he wasn't wearing it when photographed by the paparazzi.

Teammates said they expect him to be ready for next Sunday's Super Bowl against the New York Giants in Glendale, Ariz.

Other notes from the rally:

  • "We hear, 'One game at a time,'" Governor Deval Patrick said as the first speaker to address the crowd. "Well, we got one game left. And we are all here to tell the best football team in America that the best fans in America are right behind them."

  • Coach Bill Belichick also spoke to the crowd, but he had to wait a minute to start talking because the cheers were so loud.

    "We certainly appreciate your support," said Belichick. "You should know that you have a great group of players, and a great group of people standing behind me. No one's given you more than this group of players. I'm sure they'll give it to you again this week."

  • Richard Seymour, Tedy Bruschi, and Junior Seau also addressed the crowd.

    "This never gets old for us," Bruschi said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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