Tom Brady Preparing To Embrace Role As Patriots Fan During Suspension

FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady will be just another New England Patriots fan for the first four games of the 2016 season.

Brady can do nothing but sit back and watch the Patriots as backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo leads them during the starter’s four-game suspension.

Brady and Garoppolo have been competitive the last two days both during and after practice. They faced one another in a full-team scrimmage Friday, and they’ve competed to see who could throw a deep ball into a barrel after practice Thursday and Friday. Garoppolo won Thursday, and Brady won both the scrimmage and the barrel competition Friday.

“Collectively, it’s a long season,” Brady said Friday in his first media appearance since dropping his suspension appeal in July. “We’ve got a good, competitive team. Like I said, I’m just going to be rooting for us to win every game that we’re playing that I’m not in, and certainly when I’m in I hope we win every game, too.”

Brady wouldn’t reveal his plan for the first four weeks of the season.

“I’ll deal with that when it comes,” Brady said. “I could have a plan and then change the plan, I really don’t know. I’m really focusing on every day and trying to get better. One of my coaches said, ‘Look, you’ve just got to get better every day,’ and that’s where my focus has been. These days are important for me, they’re important for every guy on this team to get better and make the improvements.”

Brady specifically mentioned Patriots fans, owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft as those who helped him during the long, drawn-out Deflategate situation.

“My family’s been everything to me, and obviously, the support of my teammates and coaches, Mr. Kraft and Jonathan, the whole team and all of our fans,” Brady said. “I said the other night, I think we’ve got the best fans in the world, and we do. Hopefully we give them a lot of reasons to cheer this year.”

For now, Brady will just treat this like any other training camp.

“I’m pretty much the same,” Brady said. “I’ve been that same way for a long time. I think (being competitive is) just a way to elevate everybody’s game. It’s a very competitive team, it’s a competitive sport. You’ve got to bring it mentally every day. You’ve got to have an attitude about you. We have a lot of guys on this team that bring that. Trying to push their buttons, I love to do that, and they push it back. I think that gets the best out of everybody.”

Thumbnail photo Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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