WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, West Virginia -- The Patriots are pretty adamant: They want you to stop telling them how good they are. Or, more specifically, how good they will be.
There have been several occasions already this summer when players have been posed questions about the potential of going undefeated. They haven't loved them. Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty called it disrespectful. Brady joined the club on Tuesday morning in his conversation with WEEI.
When the discussion shifted to drawing comparisons from this year's team to the 2007 team that went undeafeated in the regular season, Brady said, "you’re talking about some incredible teams that I’ve had an opportunity to be on, very lucky to be on. This team is so far from where we need to be. We have so far to go. It’s really unfair to set expectations."
Bill Belichick took a different approach when asked about Brady's comments before a joint practice with the Texans. Instead of parroting what the quarterback said, he scoffed at the notion of long-term expectations altogether.
"Well, right now the only expectation I have is to go out and have a good practice today," Belichick said from the fields at the Greenbrier. "I'm not really sure exactly what we're talking about here. I don’t think that’s unrealistic."
It's been surprising to hear -- from the team that normally touts its ability to "ignore the noise" -- players reacting to the undefeated talk. Typically that's the type of chatter they laugh off while others beat it to death.
On Tuesday, Belichick essentially did just that. And at the same time he made a point to highlight his often extremely short-sighted approach. An effective parry.
It will be interesting to see if that's how his players start to respond to those questions going forward. Time will tell because they're not going away until the Patriots have a scratch in the loss column.