Brady 'flattered' to be in MVP discussion

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Brady 'flattered' to be in MVP discussion

On the last play of the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 28-7, Tom Brady urged the crowd to raise its cheers a decibel level. After his first down run, he pumped his fist and screamed. His excitement almost caught the crowd off guard -- the game seemed in hand -- but it responded in kind.

After a few seconds of raucous noise, the chants wafted from the Gillette Stadium seats: "M-V-P! M-V-P! . . . "

On Brady's radio interview with Dennis and Callahan on Tuesday morning, he admitted he heard the chants.

"I heard it. I'm very flattered to even be considered for something like that," Brady said of the MVP award. "Honestly, the most important thing for me is winning games and enjoying it with my teammates. Everything that I do is dependent on them, on the group of guys that I play with, and the successful years we've had with our team has been all about team football. That's what our team has been built on, and that's what our team is about."

It has to do with his coaches, too. Brady praised Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff for their job in preparing the Patriots before Monday night's game.

"Coach Belichick does that better than anybody who has ever coached," said Brady. "And coach McDaniels does that better than any offensive coordinator I've ever been with, and Matt Patricia gets those guys ready on defense. That's complementary football, that is Patriots football."

Brady appeared as prepared as anyone, going 21-for-35 with 296 yards and four touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who had a baby earlier in the week.

His wife Gisele Bundchen gave birth to a baby girl, Vivian, at home on Wednesday.

"Not difficult at all, to tell you the truth," said Brady. "We had an extra day to prepare, and I tried to get ahead. I've always been trying to get ahead these last few weeks. When our little girl came I was where I needed to be, so it was just great. She was born at night and I was able to go in the next night and miss just a little bit of the meetings in the morning and get right to work. Everything was taken care of at home."

Brady will play his hometown team on Sunday night. He's already watched tape on the San Francisco 49ers and he explained that New England will face another test when it sees the Niners defense.

"One of the best that I've ever seen," Brady said. "Physical, extremely physical in the secondary with the safeties, two safeties who arephenomenalplayers inDashon Goldson andDonte Whitner, good solid group of corners, two of the best linebackers inNaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, guys that can rush the quarterback in Justin Smith and Aldon Smith. They can rush, they can cover, they can stop the run, they can blitz. They really allow their guys to do things that they are good at. It's going to be fun, they've got a great group, I haven't played the 49ers in a long time and I'm always excited to play the 49ers."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.