Brady unsure whether he will play vs. Giants

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Brady unsure whether he will play vs. Giants

Tom Brady isn't quite sure if he will play in the Patriots' preseason finale against the Giants, but he hopes that he will.

The Patriots quarterback joined WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show Monday morning to talk all things preseason, including his availability for Wednesday's game.

"Coach hasn't told us anything," Brady said. "He always says be prepared to play and play for as long as it takes for you to be out there, and he'll take you out when he wants to take you out. As far as I know, I'm playing. That's what I'd expect, and that's what I'd enjoy, to tell you the truth. I'd love to get out there and play again."

Though oftentimes stars around the league will sit out of their teams' fourth preseason game, there is precedent that says Brady may be back under center later this week. After a lackluster third exhibition against the Lions last season, Brady did get some time in the preseason finale.

But Bill Belichick couldn't be blamed for resting Brady this week, especially after the offensive line has shown it has had trouble in pass protection. Brady's been sacked three times this preseason in 30 dropbacks. The quarterback told WEEI, however, that some of those plays during which he's getting croaked are partly his fault.

Offensive football, 11 guys need to be on the same page, Brady said. When the offensive lines expecting me to get the ball out quick and I hold on to the ball and I get sacked, then people may blame the offensive line, but really its the quarterbacks fault. Sometimes theres coverage sacks, where the defensive coverage, theres just not a place to find to throw the ball, and the offensive line, like I said, is expecting a certain rhythm of a play and it doesnt come out that way. It could be a number of things.

Theyre out there giving everything theyve got," Brady added. "From a quarterback standpoint, weve got plenty of time to throw the ball and find the right guy. We have to do a better job of doing our job, which is getting the ball out when we need to get it out, get it to the open receiver and let our guys do something with it.

Here's more from Brady's Monday morning conversation...

On Brady's connection with Brandon Lloyd, who has one catch this preseason:
"It's about timing, it's about anticipation, it's about body language," Brady said. "With a guy like Deion Branch and Wes Welker, who I've thrown tens of thousands of balls to, I just know by the way they change their speed or stride length or shoulder dip that they're about to make a particular move, which allows me to throw the ball to a certain place, so when they make their cut they turn around and the ball is where it needs to be.

"Well, every receiver does it a little bit differently, and every quarterback throws it in a little different place. Part of the anticipation is throwing the ball before the receiver breaks and before the receiver is into his route, so that the defensive back really doesn't have a chance -- when there is separation, the ball is already in the receiver's hands. That's the kind of chemistry that you look to develop as an offense, as a receivertight end combo. That really is the passing offense. The more you do it, the more comfortable you become.

"Everyone wants it to click right away. At the same time, there's really a foundation that you've got to put together, that we've been trying to do here over the last few months. Sometimes it shows up, and sometimes you realize you've got a lot more work to put in. Coming off the Tampa game, we realized that we've got a lot more work to put in. As long as we're willing to commit to that, then you know that there's going to be improvements made, and that's where you gain your confidence.

"Brandon has done a great job, coming in and been really willing to learn and do whatever the coaches have asked him to do. It's certainly not from a lack of effort that he hasn't caught many passes. It's just a matter of getting the reps in. The more reps that he and I have gotten together, the better it's shown on the field. I'm excited for Brandon and for what he can add to our offense."

On if Lloyd's start with the team is reminiscent at all of Chad Ochocinco:
"I enjoyed working with Chad. It just didn't work out with Chad," Brady said. "He was a great guy and a great teammate. Brandon has shown a lot of things in practice, through the spring -- like I said, his commitment, his work ethic. Anyone who has come down to training camp has seen what he is capable of.

"I'm not going to sit here and make predictions. I'm not a fantasy football picker, either. You guys sound like my best friends calling me, asking me what round they should pick Rob Gronkowski in. Lloyd is going to be a part of the offense. His role is going to be whatever he makes of it. He's shown that he can compete out there on a daily basis, and that's all that you can expect."

On why the Patriots (unlike the Red Sox) don't have locker room problems:
"Our locker room is run by one man. And he expects a certain level -- an attitude, a work ethic, an enthusiasm, an accountability that you have to bring to work every day," Brady said. "Those are the kind of players that he brings in. If you're not prepared to work or if you're not mentally tough, then he gets rid of you. Really, when you look around the locker room, you're surrounded by a bunch of guys that are very similar, and a bunch of guys that really care about the team and are committed to the team. That's what the foundation of our team is built on.

"You realize when you're in that locker room, when you look around the environment, you don't fit in if you're worried about how many rush yards or how many sacks or how many yards you throw for. At the end of the day, none of that matters. The only thing that matters is winning. That's why he brings us here -- to win. That's the expectation we try to fulfill. That's on a daily basis."

On new teammate Jeff Demps:"He's only been out there two days. He got in there -- I said after the game, I was pretty impressed. From training the way he trained for as long as he did and then just to put shoulder pads and a helmet on and run out there and work on our plays. He's asking us, 'What does that mean? Where do I go.' He's obviously a great athlete. He's off to a great start."

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

Harbaugh on Belichick: 'I feel like we have a good relationship'

FOXBORO -- They sounded like a couple of old pals. 

First it was Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who spoke of Ravens coach John Harbaugh during a conference call like one of his favorite fellow lacrosse dads.

"John and I saw a game a couple of years ago, a [Johns] Hopkins vs. Maryland game," Belichick said, adding that Harbaugh's love for the sport is just starting to blossom. "Yeah, I think John is seeing the light."

Belichick added that the two might be closer if they weren't competing so often, both in-season on the field and for free agents in the offseason. 

"As you know, we get into a situation like we’re in now where they have a good team, we have a good team, we’re playing a big game on Monday night," Belichick said. "Both teams are going to do everything they can to compete as hard as they can on Monday night. That’s what it is and that’s what we all signed up for. We all know that’s a part of it.

"When we’re not going head-to-head, which isn’t very often because we compete against each other in the offseason, we compete against each other to build our team and so forth, it just puts things in a little bit of a different situation."

During his press conference with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh echoed Belichick's sentiments. Belichick was famously one of Harbaugh's biggest supporters earlier in his career, calling the Ravens on Harbaugh's behalf when the franchise was looking for a new head coach. And if only they weren't so frequently competing against each other, they might be even closer, Harbaugh indicated. 

"I feel like we have a good relationship," Harbaugh said. "Like you said, we're probably not socializing that much, but I don't know how many coaches really do. We're all so busy. I'll see him or any coach at the Combine or at the owner's meetings, and we have a chance to talk. It's always good. I have a ton of respect for him. I really like him as a person. I think he's a great coach -- greatest coach of this generation. He's earned that title.

"And I study him. I've always studied him. I've always studied coach Belichick from when I first met him when I was an assistant at the University of Cincinnati, and he came in and just was great to be around.  [We have a] similar background with the special teams and that sort of thing. All of that kind of goes out the window when you compete against one another. It's like anything else, you want to win. I'm sure he feels the same way."

The recent history between their respective franchises is rife with emotion: There was Baltimore's irate reaction to Belichick's unusual formations in the AFC Divisional Round two seasons ago; there was the Ravens' supposed involvement in sparking Deflategate; and there was Harbaugh's subsequent denial. But Belichick and Harbaugh made it sound on Wednesday as if all's good between them.

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival. 

Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco. 

As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league. 

Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens. 

"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’

“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs. 

“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.”