Wistful Brady admires athletic skills of Texans' Deshaun Watson

cp-spark-patriots-brady-1-081617.jpg

Wistful Brady admires athletic skills of Texans' Deshaun Watson

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia -- Tom Brady got caught day-dreaming during a portion of his press conference Wednesday at The Greenbrier. Following the second joint practice between the Patriots and Texans, he was asked what he thought of Deshaun Watson's game.

The rookie flashed his athleticism while splitting starter reps with Tom Savage over the two-day stretch of practices with New England, and Brady took notice.

"If I could run a 4.7 [forty-yard dash], man, I would have been the first overall pick," Brady said. "Unfortunately, I ran a 5.2. I wouldn’t have been the first overall pick -- I change that. I probably would’ve been a fourth-rounder.

"I wish I could make some of those plays. Look, every player has strengths and weakness and you learn to play to your strengths, and you learn to develop your weaknesses. I’m still working on those things in my 18th year. I wish I was born 6-foot-5, 240, could run a 4.5, jump 40 inches, bench 415, but you can't. You play to your strengths and I think with our team I’ve been able to learn and think my way through the game.

"I tell the guys all the time -- 'Nothing good happens when I've got the ball in my hands.' So the faster I can get it out of my hands, the better it is, which means we've got to have a lot of trust.

"I think there are a lot of other players in the league like Russell [Wilson] or Aaron [Rodgers] that prove that when the ball is in their hands a lot of great things happen -- Ben Roethlisberger. It's about improving the things that maybe you’re not so good at, which I’m going to keep trying to do and keep building on the things you are good at."

Brady went 13-for-18 against the Texans defense in 11-on-11 work Wednesday, looking much more in sync with his teammates than he did the previous day when Houston's defensive line won the day.

Watson was not quite as accurate, going 9-for-16, though he had two passes dropped. And one of his completions was one of the better completions of the day for either side when he dropped a pass in to Jaelen Strong in the back corner of the end zone during 7-on-7 work.

He may not be a finished product, but Brady liked what he saw. The two had a chance to meet and chat during their shared time in West Virginia, and Watson seemed to make a good impression.

"Watching him play, he's got a great future. He's got all the ability. It was great to meet him," Brady said. "I've watched him have so many great games. Pro football players watch a lot of college players because on Saturday nights we're at the hotel, and Clemson was on a lot. Obviously, they won a lot of big games so it was great to meet him."

Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion) back at Patriots practice Thursday

patriots_marcus_cannon_113013.jpg

Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion) back at Patriots practice Thursday

FOXBORO - The Patriots received some very good news on Thursday as starting right tackle Marcus Cannon was back on the practice field in preparation for Sunday's game against the Texans. 

Cannon did not participate in Wednesday's practice and he was listed as having an ankle injury and a concussion. That he was on the field a day later means that he has advanced to the point in the league's concussion protocol that he can participate in practice, but it's unclear what his availability will be for Sunday's game. 

Should Cannon be sidelined, the Patriots would likely go with Cameron Fleming (or LaAdrian Waddle) as their starter at right tackle. But if Cannon can go, the Patriots would certainly take him. The Texans defensive line will be among the most talented that New England sees all season. 

Missing from Thursday's practice were running back Rex Burkhead (ribs) and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (knee). Burkhead missed Wednesday's session as well, casting some doubt on his availability for Sunday. 

Rob Gronkowski was at the start of practice for the second straight day. He participated in warmups and drills during the media-availability portion of Wednesday's practice but the team announced later in the day that he did not participate due to a groin injury suffered against the Saints. 
 

Brady-signed Goodell clown towel auctioned off for $6,500

Brady-signed Goodell clown towel auctioned off for $6,500

Perhaps this will finally close the book on Deflategate?

One of the Roger Goodell "clown" towels that Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy had made for the Patriots' season-opener - this one signed by Tom Brady - fetched $6,500 at former Pats offensive lineman Matt Light's charity auction.

A spokeswoman for Light and his Light Foundation confirmed to the Boston Herald that the towel was sold at the live auction at the recent Matt Light Celebrity Shoot-Out. 

Portnoy, who paid $140,000 to have the towels made and distributed to fans at the Sept. 7 opener, wrote that he would've paid $10,000 to get the Brady-signed towel, which he called "My holy grail."

I would have gladly paid 10k to get my towel back.  Because this would legit be the best memorabilia piece I could ever own.  It would be the perfect final chapter in Deflategate to have this hanging on the wall of Barstool World HQ’s.   So while I think it’s really cool Brady signed the towel it just doesn’t feel right that I don’t own it.