Tom Brady the Adventurer

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Tom Brady the Adventurer

And we were worried about the Summer of Gronk.

Have you seen the photos of Tom Brady cliff jumping last week in Costa Rica!? Good God, man. Its not worth it. Think of the team. Think of the fans. Think of the children!

Think of . . . eh, whatever.

In all seriousness, Bradys Costa Rican adventure looked like a pretty awesome time. I also appreciate that the cameras caught him flying through the air like a bad ass, as opposed to yelling Weeee! on his way down a childrens water slide like last year.

But most of all, back to present time, its just great to see Brady back in camp, looking all healthy and Brady-like and ready to lead the Pats for a 12th straight season. Even after all these years, hes still the single greatest thing about being a sports fan in this town, and will be until the day he hangs them up (unless he goes bonkers and starts posting extreme political opinions on his Facebook fan page.)

But that love for Brady is also why I hate watching him this time of year. Of course, there are exceptions. Im OK with a few skeleton drills. I never get sick of watching him fade back against an invisible defense and hit a receiver in stride. But once you get to real football. Whether its an inter-squad scrimmage, a joint practice with the Saints, or even worse, the pre-season. Im all set. Id rather fit Brady for a protective bubble and glue his ass to the bench than risk a stupid injury. Once the pre-season starts, Im literally watching every offensive play through one eye.

Honestly, though. How much does he really need to play between now and Week 1? Whats the difference? He already has a rhythm and relationship with every receiver on the roster (Welker, Branch, Gronk, Hernandez, Stallworth, Gaffney, Edelman, Slater) but Lloyd, and the two of them can work that out in practice. After a full season of trying to connect with Ochocinco, Brandon Lloyd will be a breeze for Brady. They're already in a good place.

Do they really need to risk him rolling an ankle, smacking his hand on a helmet, or some over-anxious, undrafted free agent busting through the line and hitting him at the knee?

No, they don't. But I figure they will.

Still, I'd rather Tom Brady jump off 10 cliffs in Costa Rica than take 10 snaps in the pre-season. I'd even excuse him for the occasional: "Weeeee!"

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

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Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”