Curran: Brady walks fine emotional line in unforgettable return

Curran: Brady walks fine emotional line in unforgettable return

CLEVELAND – He stood apart from his teammates during the anthem Sunday, hands clasped behind his back, eyes closed, head bowed. From one foot to the other he rocked, lost in his thoughts.

Those thoughts weren’t likely about vengeance, retribution and ripping the Cleveland Browns’ collective head off and fishing their heart from their chest.

More likely, Tom Brady was thinking of his breathing. Feeling the inhale. The exhale. And nothing else.

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Over and over, the people close to Brady I spoke to during his four-game suspension would say, “He’s in a good place.”

The inference? That he wasn’t climbing the walls but had come to an uneasy truce with the reality of it. He’d laid down his arms and let it be when he gave up the fight. There would be no useless energy expended on “what ifs” or worrying or bitterness.

The way to allow the NFL to really win during the month of September? To let himself be tortured by things he could no longer control.

Until the anthem ended and the game began, there was zero that Tom Brady could do to help the New England Patriots in a positive way.

If he’d spent September the right way mentally and physically, it would show up after the anthem. And it did. Brady turned what would be a memorable day into an unforgettable one. He went 28 for 40 for 406 yards and three touchdowns. Save for that moment on the Browns’ sideline when Brady ran and picked up a tumbling third-down conversion and punctuated it with a gaudy first-down signal, Brady was a relative flatliner.

After the game, after his press conference, when he was heading to the team bus, I asked Brady how he was able to seem so mellow.   

“I’ve never been mellow out there!” he protested with a smile.

Well, not mellow but at least not over the top with passion.

“I know how to get to the right point, you know, emotionally,” he said.

It’s not an easy point to reach. There have been days when he worked himself into a lather and it worked – Super Bowl 36 – and days when he may have been over the line – Super Bowl 46.

He can go to the reservoir of slights to motivate himself – whether it be draft standing, mouthy corners or vindictive commissioners – but that’s not a whip he can employ time in and time out. And after a month away, precision and composure were what the doctor ordered as Brady re-entered, not a foaming-at-the-mouth 39-year-old trying to get payback on everyone all at once.

Let everyone else make this day all about Tom Brady and what a transcendent performance would mean to them. Tom Brady would make it about everyone else but him.

Stay himself. Stay in the moment. Let the body react.

It’s an awful fine line between calm and transcendent and ODing on emotion. Tom Brady found it Sunday in Cleveland.

Report: Patriots' Harmon detained in Costa Rica with pot

File photo

Report: Patriots' Harmon detained in Costa Rica with pot

Patriots safety Duron Harmon has returned to the U.S. after he was reportedly temporarily detained when he tried to enter Costa Rica with 58 grams of marijuana.

The Costa Rica Star reports that Harmon, 27, was traveling from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and was temporarily detained Friday night in Costa Rica with the marijuana inside a can of Arizona ice tea, along with three pipes with cannabis oil, THC candy and four glass containers with compressed marijuana weighing a total of 4.3 grams.

"We are aware of the situation involving Duron Harmon Friday night in Costa Rica," the Patriots said in a statement. "He has since returned to the U.S. and we are seeking to gain more information. At this time, we have no further update."

Harmon, who has been with the Patriots his entire five-year NFL career, had four interceptions and 23 tackles last season.


Ex-Patriots TE Martellus Bennett announces retirement

Ex-Patriots TE Martellus Bennett announces retirement

Martellus Bennett is moving on from the game of football.

The former Patriots tight end announced his retirement Friday night on Twitter, stating he is shifting his focus to his multimedia production company, The Imagination Agency.

Bennett, 31, had 55 receptions for 701 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games during the 2016 season with New England. After rejoining the Patriots in 2017, Bennett battled hamstring and shoulder injuries but did play in two games, catching six passes for 53 yards.

Bennett also played with the Cowboys, Giants, Bears, and Packers over the course of his 10-year career.