Brady: You don't ever stop thinking about the game

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Brady: You don't ever stop thinking about the game

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady was perhaps not as thrilled for a second press conference this week as reporters were. The media meet marked a break in routine, something the Patriots quarterback prizes. 
So it goes in the playoffs. There are more reporters, more questions. At least the quarterback kept his sense of humor. 
'How was practice, Tom?' 
"It was perfect," he replied, sarcasm oozing from his grin. "There was not a bad play." 
And then it was back to business. 
"No, there are always mistakes made and you correct them and you try to learn from whatever mistakes you make. I wish they were perfect, but not often."
Brady did not describe what constitutes an efficient week of workouts; it's for head coach Bill Belichick, he said, to evaluate and decide how the players do. 
"We try to go out and be consistent and go out and execute the plays that are called. A lot of times, you put in your first and second down plays, your third down plays, your red area plays -- it's your first look at them on Wednesday. Like today, we put in the red area. You go out and you see how you practice them, you see how they look. 
"If they don't look good you make changes and make adjustments. If they look good, maybe you build on them. Maybe you don't do anything with them. You put plays in, you throw plays out. That's the whole preparation leading up to the game, trying to understand the game plan, add a few things, take a few things out so what you're calling is the best stuff and the stuff you have the most confidence in." 
New England was done with practices Friday but game prep is far from over. AFC Championship or not, Brady takes it down to the wire. 
"You just keep pushing through," he said. "You finish practice today and you go in and watch film on practice and see what we have to do better and that goes right through the night. Tomorrow morning we have meetings and that goes right through the afternoon, and tomorrow night we have meetings, and then Sunday mornings we have meetings. It goes right up until game time. It just doesn't stop. You really can't turn it off at this point.
"I don't think you ever really let down or stop thinking about the game. Certainly I don't."

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

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Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Orioles.

 

QUOTES

"If he has a boy, he ought to make him Mookie after tonight's outing.'' - John Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr., who left the team for a paternity leave after Mookie Betts slugged three homers.

"I know each day that I've got it. I wake up, I know I have it. I come to the field, I know I have it.'' - Xander Bogaerts on his ongoing hitting streak.

"He's probably one of the few guys, every time I see him hit, I think he's going to hit a homer. He's just that presence that he has in the batter's box.'' - Bogaerts on Betts.

"This is probably my best night; first time I've ever done that.'' - Betts, when asked where the game ranks individually for him in his career.

"I wanted to locate the heater good, not force it too much, don't try to throw hard - just try to throw strikes.'' - Eduardo Rodriguez on his season debut.

 

NOTES:

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 24 games, second-longest in baseball this season.

* Bogaerts has hit safely in 36-of-38 games at a .399 clip with 33 runs scored and 23 driven in.

* Eduardo Rodriguez two runs or fewer in each of his three career starts at Camden Yards.

* The Sox had back-to-back homers (Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia) for the first time this season.

* Mookie Betts had a three-homer game for the first time in his career.

* Betts became the first Red Sox player to homer three times in the same game since Will Middlebrooks did so on April 7, 2013.

* The last time the Sox began a game with back-to-back homers was July 27, 2011 when Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia did so.

* The Red Sox scored multiple runs in the first inning for the 20th time in 51 games.

* David Ortiz extended his own hit streak to eight games.

 

STARS:

1) Mookie Betts

Betts belted three homers -- one to left, one to center and one to right -- for the first time in his career and also contributed a brilliant diving catch in right in the seventh inning.

2) Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez made his season debut and allowed two runs on six hits through six innings and didn't issue a single walk while fanning three.

3) Chris Young

Getting a rare start in center, Young made a spectacular catch to likely rob Manny Machado of a two-run homer, while drawing a walk and adding a single and a run scored.