FOXBORO -- I absolutely, positively understood the basis of the question posed at Bill Belichick's Wednesday press conference. The aim was trying to get Belichick to wax eloquent about Tom Brady's performance so far this season.
When it went off the rails was when Barbara Barker, a reporter from New York's Newsday, described Brady as "just about everybody's midseason MVP."
Invoking mythical awards handed out by writers, bloggers and broadcasters? That's stomping on a press conference landmine.
Belichick's face scrunched.
"That's great," he began. "But honestly I don't think anybody is really focused on that. We're focused on the Giants. And some midseason report card, who cares? What difference does it make? Give me an F. Give me a C+. Right now we're focused on the Giants. That's all I really care about."
Barker soldiered on, though, asking what grade Belichick would give Brady.
"I don't give grades," he said. "I'm worried about the Giants. We're trying to beat the Giants. I don't really care about some midseason midterm grades. Give me whatever you want."
Tom Brady's thumb is apparently feeling good enough for yet another pregame social media post.
This time, TB12 calls on Denzel Washington for a little help with the narration. "Remember The Titans"? No, that was last week. We're on to Jacksonville, remember?
The hype video uses Washington's 2011 commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania for the narration:
Not to be outdone, Brady's BFF Julian Edelman, out all season after tearing his ACL in the preseason, provides the narration for his own hype video:
Is it Sunday at 3 yet?
The culprit has been identified.
NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reports it was Patriots running back Rex Burkhead who collided with Tom Brady at practice, resulting in the thumb injury that has throw New England in a tizzy over the quarterback's readiness for the AFC Championship Game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.
"Rex Burkhead was the running back," Garafolo said on "Good Morning Football." "They were colliding as they were doing some sort of handoff in a little drill. I don't know exactly what happened, but it resulted in a cut. There was blood all over the place and it was significant."
That jibes with the account told to NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran:
Brady’s right thumb bent back badly when he was smashed into by a running back. Somehow, the ball got jammed back into the webbing between his thumb and index finger and it caused a cut. Might have been the laces. There may be stitches. He’s not taking snaps under center. He can take them in shotgun. He’s trying not to aggravate the thumb between now and kickoff so the reps are at a minimum. He can throw. I have no idea how hard, how far or how accurately.
Brady is listed as questionable for the first time for a playoff game, but Garafolo reports that TB12 "should be good to go."
"Receivers [at practice] didn't notice anything different from what I gather," Garafolo said. "We'll see how much of a factor it is if he has to squeeze it into a tight window, but from what I am told he should be good to go."
Burkhead is also listed as questionable with a knee injury. He hasn't played since the victory over the Steelers Dec. 17.