Brady 'excited' about his health at bye week

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Brady 'excited' about his health at bye week

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady isn't yet sure whether or not he'll stick around in the Boston area during his bye week. He says that's no longer his decision.

But wherever he'll be, know that the Patriots quarterback won't just be sitting on the couch eating potato chips.

"I like to exercise, so I try to do as much of it as I can," said Brady before Thursday's practice, when asked what his plans were for the upcoming bye weekend. "For a quarterback, it's interesting. You kind of get out of shape as the season goes, because you don't probably run as much. At the receiver position, those guys run. It's incredible how much they run on a daily basis. And they get in better shape as the season goes."

Through the first half of the season, Brady says he feels feels "great."

"I'm excited to be feeling this way, with eight games left to play," he said on Thursday.

So while the Patriots won't have a game this weekend, Brady plans to continue his off-the-field exercise routine, in order to be prepared for a second-half run, and to improve upon what he called an "inconsistent" season.

"It's important for the quarterback position to keep up your conditioning so that you can endure these last eight weeks," said Brady. "This is when the good teams really start to show themselves, and the bad ones start to really fade. If you want to be a good team, you've got to be on top of all those things, whether it be your conditioning, your nutrition, your rest, your decision-making over the course of a long season, and how that impacts the rest of your teammates. That's why some teams really begin to separate themselves over the 16-week season."

Bennett: 'Put my pants on the same way' for preseason or regular-season games

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Bennett: 'Put my pants on the same way' for preseason or regular-season games

FOXBORO -- There seem to be some differing opinions inside Gillette Stadium as to the feel of the third preseason game. Is it a good dress rehearsal for the regular season, or is it just as vanilla as any other preseason matchup?

Example No. 1 comes from coach Bill Belichick's WEEI interview earlier this week: 

"In terms of playing time it might be a little different, but in terms of game-planning and strategy, what we see in the regular season compared to what we see the in third preseason game, I don’t even think you’re in the same universe," he said. "We’re still running our basic plays and we’d expect our opponents would run their basic plays.

"You get to the opener and start to get to game-planning and scheme, I mean you’re in a totally different ballpark, in my opinion. I don’t see any comparison at all. It’s too far away, I don’t see how you could compare them, from that standpoint. One-on-one matchups, letting the players play, yeah, I would say you have a better matchup of guys like that, but it’s nothing compared to what we’re going to see in the regular season from a total scheme situation standpoint."

Example No. 2 comes from Martellus Bennett, who opted not to meet with reporters last week when the Bears, his former club, came to town for joint practices. 

"All my snaps are full speed," Bennett said when asked about this week's game with the Panthers. "I don't slow down. I just go full speed the whole time so it's just a regular game for me . . . It's always the same whether it's the regular season or preseason. Put my pants on the same way. Put my shoes on the same way. Tie them the same way. Same gloves, same face mask."

Truth is, both can be right.

For players who are given plays and asked to execute assignments, a preseason game played at full speed may very well feel like a regular-season game. For coaches who are coming up with the plays and assignments for said players to execute, the difference between the regular season and preseason is vast. 

The third preseason game might then be the closest thing teams experience to a regular-season game this month, but it's still not close.