By Tom E. Curran
CAMBRIDGE - Tom Brady signaled tempered optimism Friday night when asked how long it would be before we'd see real football instead of the "touch" variety he was playing in the Best Buddies Challenge game at Harvard Stadium. "Nobody knows, but hopefully soon," said Brady at halftime of the charity game. "There's been a lot of positive news from both sides. Everyone's working hard for a great outcome and I'm confident that a lot of reasonable people will come to a very reasonable agreement."What the "positive news"Brady was referencing wasn't clear. In the hurriedinterview scrum we didn't get a chance to pin it down. But it does mean something that the guy whose name is at the forefront of the players' cause to leave their share of the dough alone feels confident. I asked Brady if he felt the product is yet being impacted since so much off-season time is being missed. "I hope not," he answered. "Everyone's just dealing with it. The players are dealing with it the best they know how and the owners are and I hope there's a great outcome. I'm relatively confident there will be." Brady also alluded to the need for players to remain unified and for veterans to take the lead."The players, we all stick together," he pointed out. "We realize how important we all are to each other. A lot of guys really care about the game and the guys that have been around for a while understand what it takes for us to grow the league, to be part of the business of the NFL and to be great representatives for the NFL and to leave the NFL in better shape than when we came into it. I think that's the responsibility of all players, young or old. "I've seen a lot of things." Brady added. "I'm not as young as I used to be . . . and I think the veteran players are the ones that need to support what's going on right now and everyone does a great job of that."Julian Edelman, Pierre Woods, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker were among the current Patriots on the fieldwith Brady on Friday. Bradywas tight-lipped about this week's workouts. "There were a lot of people instrumental in getting everyone together," Brady said, deflecting sole responsibility for the Boston College workouts. "We have a lot of great leaders on our team. I've been here for a long time so, as a veteran on the team, not just the quarterback, there's a lot of guys who are working hard and that's what we need." He did note that his surgically repaired foot is doing fine and - from watching him move - there's no reason to doubt that.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
By Tom E. Curran