Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady spoke not long after Brady's four-game suspension had expired, but they didn't talk football, McDaniels said. There will be plenty of time for that.
"I haven't seen him," McDaniels told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday. "We spoke briefly this morning . . . We just spoke briefly and that was it. I've had a long relationship with him, worked a long time with him, as have the rest of our coaches and players. I look forward to get him, Rob Ninkovich back today and moving on, try to prepare as hard as we can to play better, coach better, than what we did yesterday for the Browns game."
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McDaniels said he didn't expect to see a noticeably more motivated Brady now that he's back in the Patriots facility for the first time in about a month. Brady is always motivated, McDaniels explained, and the Patriots are expecting the same player and the same attitude now that he's back.
"His motivation has been consistent, I think," McDaniels said. "For me, when I see him, and when I work with him, and when I coach him, and when I watch him play and when I watch him perform. His motivation has been pretty consistent for me throughout his career. I know there have been some adversaties here and there that people say that maybe ramp up the motivation, what have you, but he's always motivated.
"He wants to be the best player he can be every single time he takes the field. I wouldn't expect anything different from him. Looking forward to having the opportunity to coach him here this week and work with him and get ready to play Cleveland, and I'm sure he'll be ready to go."
Here are some of the other quotes of note from McDaniels' conversation with WEEI . . .
On how the team handled uncertainty at quarterback this week: "We were getting everybody ready to go. [Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo] certainly were involved in the preparation. Any time you're dealing with the things that they're dealing with, it ultimately comes down to a medical clearance the day of the game. When we're going through our meetings, our walkthroughs, and both of them were limited last week in practice to what they could do, the best thing you do as a coach is prepare them to play if they're cleared and try to have them ready to go mentally wherever they're at physically. You try to manage that the best you can if they're cleared to play."
On when he found out Brissett would start: "I was in the stadium certainly, so it was a few hours before kickoff."
On the rush to get Brissett prepared: "No rush. Both guys were involved in our of our meetings, all of our practices, all the practice films. They were ready to go in terms of understanding the game plan and knowing exactly what we were going to ask them to do and how we were going try to play the game. There was no change at that point. Just the decision was made so Jacoby was up. We had a couple final quick meetings about a couple of things and that was it."
On Julian Edelman's plays at quarterback: "I think we had a couple of them. There was one in the second half as well. They certainly had a plan for what they were gonna do. Give them a lot of credit. I thought they coached better than we did and played better than we did, executed their game plan. They had something ready to go. It wasn't complicated, that's what they chose to do, and they didn't give up much production in those two plays."
On if Garoppolo didn't want to play to protect himself: "Jimmy worked hard to get ready to go all week. I don't have any knowledge of any of that stuff. I just know that he was trying as hard as he could to prepare to play . . . I've never had a question of any of our players' toughness."
On Rob Gronkowski's lack of production in the passing game: "As a coach, you always want to try to get your best players involved in the game. Obviously Rob's in that category. We need to do a good job of trying to get him the ball and give him some opportunies. I think he's progressing. He played more this last week than he did the week prior. Hopefully that'll just continue to get better as we move forward. Certainly Rob's a big part of what we want to do, and hopefully we can kind of take another step this week."
On Chris Hogan's penalties, which wiped out a long pass play to Edelman to start New England's first drive: "On those types of plays, those run-pass option plays, the one thing that's kind of a delicate situation is when you can block. When you go out there and engage a player . . . It was two fouls on the same play, one was offensive pass interference. Really that one would have wiped out the play anyway, regardless of whether they called holding or not. Everybody uses those kinds of plays. [Receivers coach] Chad O'Shea does a tremendous job of coaching that because you have to have a good sense of timing on those plays because you can't engage a defender prior to the ball being caught. Chris is a trem blocker, gives great effort on every play, all our guys do at the receiver position. That's all he was trying to do. He gave great effort, he finished his play, they called him for a foul, and it ended up bringing back the play. We can coach it harder, better, try to get the timing of it a little bit quicker so that we can get the ball to somebody fast enough for those guys to engage the defenders and stay on them and block them."