Brady: Life after football seems 'like the abyss'


Brady: Life after football seems 'like the abyss'

FOXBORO -- Of all the numbers, statistics that get volleyed in the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning rivalry, there's one in particular that's quietly working to dominate the discussion.


So it's two numbers, really. Brady turned 35 to raucous training camp cheers this August. Manning is 36.

The Patriots quarterback has said several times that he wants to play until he's 40 at least. And why not? Warren Moon was 44 years and 27 days old when he made his last start.

Wednesday, four days before Manning's Broncos charge into town, Brady was asked why in the world he'd want to do such a thing. Why would he want to play such a physically punishing game for what would be 18 seasons?

"Play football?" he asked, with a barely mocking lilt to his tone.

The crowd of reporters laughed knowingly with the three-time Super Bowl champion.

"It's a great sport," he relented. "I love coming to work every day. I love the challenge that the weeks bring -- the mental challenge, the physical challenge. I love the training. I love being around my teammates.

"There's just not much else out there, other than my family. It's like the abyss, you know? There's nothing else."

That phrase -- "The Abyss" -- was a bit jarring. It made you hope for hyperbole from the quarterback, or maybe some unintentional melodrama.

But it's probably impossible to imagine the depth of an abyss, the swallowing darkness of it, unless you're forced to look down inside.

Maybe that's what happened to Manning when he was injured. Maybe the broken down nerves in his neck and multiple surgeries forced Manning's toes over the edge and he didn't like what he saw.

Nobody outside of his circle knows. Brady could barely hazard a guess himself.

"I know, just speaking to him a few times, his love for the game and his love for the competition obviously exceeds whatever he may feel, or whatever he may not feel. I don't even know what he feels; I haven't talked to him about that other than, I'm sure he's healthy enough to play or else they wouldn't clear him to play.

"I have a lot of respect for him."

Opponents in battle, but perhaps on the same side in a larger war.

Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited


Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/report: Edelman still limited

FOXBORO -- Even though Dion Lewis returned to practice on Thursday, there were no changes to the Patriots injury report.

Because Lewis remains on the physically unable to perform list, he does not count against the active roster, and the team is not required to list his participation level following practices. The Patriots have three weeks to activate Lewis, and whenever they do, he'll be eligible to show up on the participation report.

There were no changes to New England's injury report, meaning that tight end Martellus Bennett, receiver Julian Edelman and linebacker Jamie Collins all continue to be limited. Edelman has been limited with a foot injury since before his team's Week 6 matchup with the Browns. Despite just nine catches for 65 yards in Tom Brady's first two games back from suspension, Edelman bounced back against the Steelers and reeled in nine passes for 60 yards.

The Bills continue to be hampered by a variety of ailments. Linebacker Zach Brown, who almost single-handedly ruined Patriots plans back in Week 4, missed Thursday's workout with an illness, as did guard Richie Incognito. Running back LeSean McCoy missed practice for the second straight day with a hamstring injury, and receiver Marquis Goodwin was out with a concussion. 

Here's Thursday's full practice participation/injury report for the Patriots and Bills:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Zach Brown (illness)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
G Richie Incognito (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)

T Seantreal Henderson (back)

LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)

Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

FOXBORO -- It's not often that NFL teams make deals before the trade deadline. Seeing starters get dealt before the deadline is a veritable rarity. It's no wonder linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who started in all seven Lions games this season, reacted the way he did when he was dealt to the Patriots earlier this week.

"I was shocked to go from starting there to traded," Van Noy said during his first back-and-forth with Patriots reporters. "I was shocked. I respect everybody with the Detroit Lions, they'll all be my guys there. Just grateful for the opportunity to come here and get it going."

Van Noy has been working closely with Patriots linebackers and linebackers coach Brian Flores since his arrival, even getting some last-minute notes from Flores before meeting with reporters and heading out to Thursday's practice. 

The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder wasn't completely unfamiliar with the operation in New England before being sent to Foxboro along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-rounder. He admitted he had "a lot" of contact with the Patriots before being taken in the second round by Detroit.  

Now he's playing "catch-up" to learn the Patriots playbook, which could include learning multiple positions within the team's defense. He played mostly as an off-the-line linebacker in Detroit, but when he entered into the league out of BYU, he was considered to have the tools to be a productive pass-rusher as a pro. 

Van Noy, who lost about 15 pounds going into this season, indicated that the Lions didn't get the most out of him because of how he was used. 

"I mean, they didn't know where to put me," he said. "Here, they want me here, and I'm happy to be wanted." 

Van Noy was injured for much of his rookie season and had a hard time making an impact last year. He was relied upon to fill a more substantial role this season, playing in 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps. It's unclear just how Van Noy will fit in as a member of the Patriots, but he says he's willing to do whatever it takes to work his way back up another depth chart.

"I'm here now, and I'm gonna do whatever they have me [do], and whatever they want my weight to be at," he said. "Whatever they want me to do I'm gonna do it because I want to win and be part of this team."