It was just a preseason game, but count Tom Brady among those who were surprised he didn't take any snaps Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The New England Patriots quarterback told WEEI-AM on Monday that he was "shocked" not to play in the team's opener, which the Patriots won 47-12. Brady told the station he didn't find out until Wednesday night he wasn't in the game plan, but has learned to trust Bill Belichick's methods.
"Belichick -- he's the coach and he tells us what he wants to do," Brady said. "I used to fight things probably a lot more, but now you just kind of understand why he does things and I do my best to prepare no matter what the situation is.
"He told us earlier in the week, 'Guys, everybody should be ready to play.' We were ready to play. He told us the night before the game we weren't playing, which I think shocked probably all of us, but it's not like we can go put ourselves in the game. We made sure we had a good week of practice so we were ready."
It's clear that Brady is still seething from the 28-21 AFC Divisional loss to the New York Jets last season.
"I'll never get over that loss," Brady said, labeling it "as painful a loss as we've had as a team."
Perhaps in an attempt to gear up for the Jets this season, the Patriots have signed veterans on both sides of the ball. Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis were brought in to bolster the defensive line, and Chad Ochocinco, the former Cincinnati Bengals wideout, is Brady's newest target on offense.
Brady acknowledged it's taking time for the veteran receiver to to pick up the Patriots' offense.
"With Deion (Branch) and Wes (Welker), I've played with them now for so long, they know exactly what I'm thinking and why I'm thinking it," Brady said. "With Chad, he's been in a certain place for a long time and he has his ... the way he has played the game has been quite a bit different from the way we play the game.
"... It's really a crash course. We've been at it for just over 2½ weeks. You have to basically get rid of all the information he had to learn going on his 10th year and learn something new in two weeks. It's certainly not easy but he's a hard worker, he wants to do it, he's very competitive and it's fun to be out there with him because he wants the ball, he wants to practice and he wants to be out there and do it right because he really wants us to be able to rely on him."