Time, injury gives Brady perspective

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Time, injury gives Brady perspective

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
Week 1 of the 2011 season marks Tom Brady's 12th year in the league.

The Patriots quarterback was asked Wednesday if, at this stage in his career, he ever considers his own football mortality.

"I think you realize how tough it is to win games over the years," Brady said after a pause. "I think when you're out there as a veteran player you provide the leadership for the team because you've been experienced in this program. We're hoping to go out there every year and put together a winning season. It's frustrating when we don't do that, it's frustrating when you have a bad day of practice."

More than a decade under his belt and he's griping about practice? Yes.

Nothing about the job, whether during preseason or the playoffs, becomes less important over the years. That's actually Brady's point -- that maturity means sharpening the senses and attacking the game comprehensively. But experience also equals a loss of innocence. You endure heartbreak. You lose games and you lose teammates. Sometimes you watch injuries happen and other times you feel them yourself.

"Every time you take the field it could be your last time," Brady said. "You've got to put everything you can each week in to the games. This week, who knows if it's your last week? You really don't. Maybe that perspective has helped as well.

"Injuries are certainly a part of the game. I've certainly been fortunate over the years to be able to play consistently. It's flukey things that happen out there. You sprain an ankle the wrong way you're not out there and you can't help the team win. And that's disappointing because if you're not out there helping the team, you're pretty much useless to the team."

Brady knows from experience. He missed the 2008 season after undergoing knee surgery. That battle, in combination with a lengthy game log, is why every practice is as important as every game. And, yeah, it gives Brady plenty to think about.

"Missing a whole season . . . that was as hard as can be . . . to watch. But you come back with hopefully more resiliency, little bit more mental toughness and you understand that each week you have a great gift. You got a gift to go out there and do something you really love to do. Play at a high level and ultimately help the team win."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

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Patriots officially side with Brady vs. NFL by filing amicus brief

Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization have been saying for a long time that they hope Tom Brady prevails in his fight with the league over Deflategate. Kraft reiterated that stance on Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings.

But on Wednesday, the Patriots took their support for Brady to a different platform. The team has filed an amicus brief stating that it supports Brady and the NFLPA now that the union has filed a petition to be granted a rehearing by the Second Circuit. 

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, it is a noteworthy move because the last time an NFL team took legal action against league was when late Raiders owner Al Davis sued the NFL. It is important to note, though, as SI.com's Michael McCann explains, that the Patriots have not actually "switched sides" in this instance. As one of 32 teams in the league, they are technically still a part of the NFL Management Council et al. v. NFL Players Association et al. With its amicus brief, however, the team is advocating for a rehearing of a case that the NFL recently won. 

Filing the brief may not necessarily have any legal impact on the case -- judges can ignore the team's opinion in its amicus brief if they so choose -- but its value may be more than simply symbolic in nature. Attorney Daniel Wallach notes that the team's amicus brief covers ground that Brady's petition for rehearing couldn't cover due to page limits. 

On the first page of the amicus brief, in the document's second footnote, the language is strong: "From the outset of this matter, the League's conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady's involvement, was reiled on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense."

The Patriots have continued to update The Wells Report in Context, a website that argues the findings of the NFL's investigation into Brady that has also accumulated various reports and scientific studies that support Brady's innocence. But this amicus brief is another way for the team to show that it has its quarterback's back. 

The NFLPA filed its petition for a rehearing on Monday and now awaits a decision from the 13 judges of the Second Circuit as to whether or not they will grant Brady a rehearing.

Statistically speaking, Brady is facing long odds to be given a rehearing, but his legal team believes there's reason for optimism