Brady on Welker: We want everyone fresh at the end of the year

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Brady on Welker: We want everyone fresh at the end of the year

Tom Brady and Wes Welker have been the most prolific passing combination in the NFL since 2007. That Welker didn't start yesterday's 20-18 loss to the Cardinals came as a surprise to most, especially since there haven't been very many signs of Welker's ability beginning to fade.

There are several reasons why the Patriots may have chosen to go with Julian Edelman over Welker. But on his weekly interview with WEEI Monday morning, Brady said that one of the reasons Welker played fewer snaps than Edelman -- 63 to 75, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss -- is that the Patriots may be trying to keep Welker fresher later in the season.

"It was just a personnel grouping where Welker's not in the game," Brady said when asked about New England's first few offensive plays Sunday. "We have a lot of different personnel groupings with him in the game. There's a lot of guys on the roster, and we're trying to utilize every player so that at the end of the year one guy doesn't have 700 plays and another guy has 50 plays. Hopefully everyone can contribute and have opportunity and be fresh and stay healthy. Because we need everybody. It's a long year."

Brady also praised Welker's work ethic, perhaps in order to quell rumors that Welker must have broken a team rule or done something wrong in coach Bill Belichick's eyes to earn his benching.

"I love Wes. He's like one of my best friends. What he does on a daily basis to prepare himself really motivates everybody else," Brady said. "He's a leader. He's so tough. I've been in so many critical, critical situations with him where he's worked so hard to do the right thing and be in the right place and make the play. He's a phenomenal player."

Aside from the fact that Edelman started over Welker, the other big development to come out of yesterday's game was the loss of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who left with an ankle injury.

Brady admitted that Hernandez plays a big role in the offense, but the quarterback still felt as though his tight end's departure from the game was not the reason why the offense scuffled and scored only one touchdown against the Cardinals.

"I didn't really feel that way," Brady said. "He's a big part of what we do and he's out there on the field quite a bit. I thought we just pretty much moved on, though, tried to adjust with some different personnel groupings and formations and such. But I don't think we were really shell-shocked that he wasn't in there. I thought we tried to react -- and we didn't have a great first half, by any stretch."

That was thanks in part to the defensive effort put forth by the Cardinals. Though they entered Foxboro as largely unheralded 14-point underdogs, Brady said he wasn't surprised at the stinginess of the Cardinals 'D.'

"They pretty much did what they did all day and pretty much what they've been doing all preseason, and even going into last year," Brady said. "So, it wasn't a ton that really surprised us. It was just a matter of, really, they have a good team. They have some very, very good players, very disruptive front, good guys in coverage, they disguise things pretty well. But our execution wasn't great, even when we really had them figured out. That's why you get beat, is you have chances to make plays and you just don't make them."

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass. 

Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

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Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household. 

For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."

I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016

In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed. 

Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth. 

He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "

If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.