PITTSBURGH - Tom Brady's intensity always runs high. But against the Steelers, he sometimes looks like he's about to pop a vessel. Last season, the Patriots came into Pittsburgh on November 14 with a 6-2 record. They were fresh off a sloppy and disturbing loss at Cleveland. Their road wins earlier in the season -- at Miami and at San Diego -- were not offensive masterpieces, and it seemed the same road flaws of 2009 were still alive and kicking. After scoring early to take a 7-0 lead in that Sunday night game, the offense bogged down. And Brady went off. Coincidence or not, they didn't lose another regular-season game after that and never scored fewer than 31 points. Brady put the jumper cambles to his offensive teammates that night and pushed them to reach another level. Sunday in Pittsburgh, Brady sees a similar situation developing where urgency is needed. Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweeted earlier Sunday that Brady told him the Patriots will learn about themselves today. "Its always a big game, Brady told Breer. And it always seems to be at this time of year, when you really find out what your team is. Well find out more about who we are as a team on Sunday.Despite the Patriots being 5-1 and Brady on a record pace in terms of passing yards, he's lamented missed opportunities and "plays left out there" after almost every game. The Steelers have a defense good enough to cause missed opportunities and an offense capable of making their opponents pay. With the Patriots coming off their bye, you can expect Brady to hit the field in Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon with extremely high expectations for success. And he'll be pretty agitated if what he learns about this team is that they aren't ready to go next level yet.
Football is coming.
The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.
Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.
The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.
The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.
Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape.
OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.
The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.
Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent.