PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY PRESS CONFERENCE
Q: How are you feeling after a couple days of rest now?
TB: [I'm] feeling better. Better than I was a couple of days ago.
Q: How much of a focus is there for you this week to get your body in condition to where it needs to be?
TB: Yeah, I think it's important for everybody this time of year. Our bye week was a long time ago so this is the first time we've had off in quite a while. A lot of guys have been fighting through different kind of bumps and bruises over the course of the season, so you try and take advantage of that as best you can to feel good because we're going to need everybody a week from Saturday to be at their very best. It's just a lot of time obviously preparing. There are a lot of different scenarios so you try to do your best mentally to get ready and physically you've just got to put as much effort in as you can to make yourself feel better.
Q: Where are you mentally right now and are you better equipped at age 38 to handle the highs and lows of the season than you were earlier in your career?
TB: Yeah, I think the experience of being through a lot of seasons and so forth, you get conditioned for it. I think I'm pretty well conditioned for a regular season at this point. Regular season, postseason – I think it's different when you're a younger player and let's say it's your first year for example – the most games you've ever played is 12 – you never played into January. You got a lot of time off during the offseason and so forth when you're in college. When you're a pro this is what you condition your whole life around, at least I do. This is what I prepare myself for. I know a lot of my teammates do the same. Mentally, I'm ready to go. Physically, you always want to feel your best and I think you've just got to work as hard as you can at doing the right things to get to that point, so that's where I feel like I'm at.
Q: Has it been a greater challenge this year to find that mental balance because it has been a difficult past 12 months?
TB: I think it's you know, football season is a challenge in a lot of ways for a lot of people. I think I'm always up for the challenge.
Q: Have there been people around you that you've needed to calm down in regards to the way the national media has covered the story involving Peyton Manning and HGH allegations?
TB: I haven't thought one bit about that so I've just tried to do my best to help our team win. I think that's what my goal is, and as mentally focused as I can be on that, that'll help our team win because we've all worked pretty hard to get to this point. I read a cool quote the other day, it said 'I didn't come this far to only come this far,' so we've still got further to go.
Q: How much attention do you have to give to the guys in the locker room that haven't been here before that need to be ready to go now?
TB: Yeah, and I think Coach [Bill Belichick] does a great job of preparing our team for that. Yeah, it's important for the veteran guys to always set a good example of leadership because we have some experience. Our coach talks a lot about that being an advantage only if we use it as experience, so I think that we're challenged in a lot of different ways. Every team at this point that's still playing is a great football team. They have a lot of good things that every team does well. Nobody is first in the league in every category statistically, so you're just trying to build upon the strengths of your team and understand where your weaknesses are. The veteran guy – obviously it's good to have the experience – but it's also good to be able to communicate to the younger players kind of what to expect, where we're heading, how we're going to get to the place we want to get to, and that's to obviously accomplish the goals that we set out and what we're going to do to get there, how we're going to do it and then ultimately we've got to go out there and practice hard and be ready to go a week from Saturday.