Tom Brady is going to do all he can to make sure he stays mentally sharp during his four-game suspension.
The Patriots quarterback told Westwood One's Jim Gray before Thursday night's game between the Panthers and Broncos that he'll break down opponents and dissect plays aas though he's planning to be suited up with his teammates through September.
Brady insisted that watching the Patriots live will take up part of his time during his suspension. Though he can't be on the sidelines or set foot in the team's facilities during his ban, this isn't a can't-bear-to-watch scenario.
"I'm gonna watch the game," Brady said. "Obviously I'm very interested and I want our team to do great. I'm going to study as if I was playing. I'm going to watch those games and analyze them as if I was in there playing so that I'm ready to go against Cleveland in Week 5."
What else will Brady be doing while suspended? From the sounds of it, he could be any number of health-conscious fathers strewn about the country given the skeleton of his down-time schedule: work out, hang with the kids.
"I'm really trying to take it day-by-day, Jim," Brady said. "It's a lot of unchartered territory for me so I'm really just trying to focus on the things I can control, and trying to stay in great shape, and be prepared for when I get the opportunity to play in October. And also to spend a little time with my family."
When it was pointed out to Brady that Patriots receiver Juilan Edelman said the suspension felt like having a buddy go to jail, Brady chuckled.
"Not quite jail, but I feel like I don't have the opportunity to do something I love to do," Brady said. "That's the hard part about the situation we're in. But like I said, I'm going to try to be positive about that and spend some quality time with my family and pick my kids up from school and do some things that I won't have the opportunity to do in October, November and December, and for the years to come. Hopefully I can keep playing football for a long time and I don't have to ever sit out a September for as long as I'm playing."
Brady hasn't watched from afar since 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. Because of what he was dealing with in terms of his rehab, Brady said recently, he didn't have much time to take in the games as he will this time around.
Brady hinted at how difficult it will be to watch events like Sunday night when the Patriots kick off their regular-season schedule. Not only would he like to be out there with his teammates under the lights, but he also usually likes to have some say in the outcome.
"I think it's a lot better when you're actually in control," he told Gray. "Whenever I'm a fan or I've been at games where I haven't been playing where I root for a particular...whether it's a boxing match or a soccer game or a basketball game, you're right. You get more anxious and a little bit nervous because you have no control with respect to the outcome of the game.
"Yeah it's gonna be nerve-wracking to watch. It always it. It's sports, you can't predict these outcomes. I know our team will be as prepared as they always are. I'm excited to see them go out there and play. Hopefully they'll go out to Arizona and play a great game."