Hernandez: We're going to come out firing

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Hernandez: We're going to come out firing

FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez has been one of Tom Brady's most consistent receivers throughout camp. He has caught every catchable pass, and he's added a few spectacular grabs for good measure.

Even though Brady's overloaded with talented receiving options, he's often looked the way of his smaller, quicker tight end. During one stretch on Wednesday, Brady found Hernandez on four straight passes, the last one resulting in a touchdown.

Despite his training camp success, Hernandez knows his connection with Brady is still a work in progress.

"I'd say we're still at the beginning," he said. "We gotta keep getting our timing down, and he's gotta start reading me, and I gotta read him and know what he wants. He has to know what he wants me to do and stuff like that. But we keep improving everyday and we're gonna get on point and we're gonna come out this season firing."

Hernandez has been used a lot. He's been in at tight end, in the slot and split out wide, but he says he's feeling good. Why? Because he doesn't have to go through the rigors of double sessions.

"With all them new rules, I love it," he said. "It's saving me. Two practices beats up on your body. Bill Belichick regardless is gonna find a way to beat up on us, so regardless we're gonna be tired."

But he hasn't looked it. For the last two days, he's shared the stage with two of the best tight ends in the league: Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. While both of those players have been solid, Hernandez has found the ball in his hands more consistently than either of his counterparts. During 11-on-11 work, six of Brady's 10 completions ended up in Hernandez's hands.

Hernandez was asked to compare himself to Gronkowski and Graham after their second joint practice.

"Good player, obviously," he said of Graham. "The whole league knows about him, and that's about it. We're all good players, we're all different and all got different qualities, but I say, it is what it is.

"I say we're different players and we do different things. Graham and Gronk are similar in their playing type and I have a different type of way I approach defenders and approach the game. I think we all have different qualities that are real good."

Hernandez's quickness, sure hands and precise route-running have all been on display during camp, and as a result he has been one of Brady's most active targets.

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.