Brady: 'You gotta make mistakes'

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Brady: 'You gotta make mistakes'

FOXBORO - Earlier on Wednesday, we spoke to Bill Belichick about Ryan Mallett's missteps in practice this summer.

Belichick went into solid detail about the need to make those mistakes on the practice field.

Tom Brady amplified that Wednesday afternoon.

"To be a good player you gotta make mistakes," he insisted. "And if you're not in the situation to make mistakes, then when you do get the opportunity you're gonna make 'em. So hopefully you get the opportunity in practice, rather than in front of 70,000 people. So when you drop back and evaluate the coverage and you make a read or you make a throw and it gets tipped and intercepted, hopefully you go into that week's game and see the same look and say, 'Nope, not throwing it.' Or you get the same look and you rip it because you have confidence you can do it."

Brady's ascent to superstardom has been well documented. Lost in the narration though, is the fact that Brady went through a significant rough patch in 2002.

Over a three-game stretch, Brady threw seven picks and the Patriots lost each game. He threw just five interceptions over the final nine games.

Even though he'd won a Super Bowl earlier that year, he was still in the learning stage of what he could and could not get away with.

"It's about being being in the situation in practice with a lot of pressure because Belichick puts a lot of pressure on, and you go out there and try not to make the same mistake twice. You can make them once, but he gets pissed when you make' em twice."

Hearing Brady unleash an obscenity after a practice pick is a rite of late summer. But he does point out that they are inevitable.

"You dont want to come out here and throw a bunch of interceptions, but at the same time its not a game so you want to install things and see how they work and try to give guys an opportunity to go out and catch the ball and make plays on the ball," he said. "So you probably do some things this time of year that you wouldn't normally do, but at the same time you're trying to make good decisions, read the coverage, and give the ball to the right guy."

He again emphasized the learning aspect.

"You gotta make the mistakes to learn from them," he explained. "And you never know how tight a window is until you throw it and it was too tight. So you try to force the ball into certain areas and then you learn from it and you say 'I can't do that.' You install new plays and you try to run them over and over and you try to identify all the problems where they come up and really make good decisions."

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

Brady on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'Let's talk about football'

Brady on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'Let's talk about football'

FOXBORO -- It seems as though Tom Brady might wish Donald Trump would stop telling everyone that they're such good pals.

On Thursday night, the soon-to-be 45th president of the United States said that Brady was "feeling good" and that Brady called him to congratulate him on the eve of his inaguration. On Friday afternoon, Brady looked uncomfortable at the mention of Trump's name during a press conference at Gillette Stadium. 

When Brady was asked about Trump soon after the inauguration ceremony on Friday, he hesitated.

"I don't have much to say," said Brady.

Brady was then reminded that during a dinner for donors in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Trump mentioned a recent phone call between them, when Brady expressed his support for the new president. 

"Umm," Brady said. "Did I call him . . ."

"He said you did," a reporter replied. 

"Oh," Brady said. "Let's talk about football."

In other words, as his coach would say, "We've got a big game."