Patriots

Brady: Consistency during playoffs makes Belichick 'so great'

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Brady: Consistency during playoffs makes Belichick 'so great'

FOXBORO -- While last week ended with a report detailing how Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft were allegedly at odds, this week ended with Brady calling Belichick "so great."

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Fresh off of the practice field on Thursday -- the last workout of what players called a competitive week of practice -- Brady was asked if Belichick comported himself any differently this time of year. Even though the intensity is ramped up, even though the urgency is at another level, Brady quickly pointed to Belichick's consistency regardless of what the calendar says.

"I think what makes him so great is that he’s so consistent, just in his approach and week to week," Brady explained. "I think you get to these points, you start doing things different and you've got to think, 'Man, why were we doing those things all year if these are the things that are working?'

"We've done a good job of just sticking to what we've kind of done all season. The tough part is there’s a finality to all these games. You’ve got to earn it if you’re going to move on. You’ve got to earn it if you’re going to practice again next week. We've got to go out there and play well."

Brady's words echoed sentiments relayed by his teammates earlier in the week. The message is clear: Don't forget what got you here. Leaning on that routine, believing it will be enough when kickoff rolls around, is something the Patriots have done for years under Belichick. And because the results have been the results, there's little reason not to trust in the approach.

Back in November, Brady was asked about what stands out to him about Belichick's coaching style. The first adjective he used should come as no surprise.

"Well, he's just so consistent," Brady said at the time. "I think he has such an approach and an urgency to his coaching and how he gets the whole staff prepared and the players. Everything is important -- the walkthroughs, the OTAs, minicamp, training camp. I don’t think you’d notice many times between an OTA day and a Super Bowl week in the way that he approaches the preparations. He gets us all ready to go.

"That urgency helps us get ready and keeps us focused and hopefully leads to a good practice that we can put together day after day. You try to make a lot of improvements and those improvements really show up in the game. I think he’s just a great coach and . . . he's been my only coach so it's been a lot of fun."

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Report: Burkhead collision with Brady caused QB's injury

Report: Burkhead collision with Brady caused QB's injury

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. 

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Can a banged-up Brady get the job done?

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Can a banged-up Brady get the job done?

0:41 - We all know how the Patriots operate. Are they keeping all details on Brady’s hand injury quiet to mess with the media and the Jaguars? Phil Perry, Kayce Smith and Michael Holley discuss.

4:31 - The AFC Championship game is nearly upon us and while Tom Brady remains questionable for the game, his play is not the only thing that will factor into this matchup. Michael Holley, Phil Perry and Lou Merloni break down how they think the game will go on Sunday.

9:33 - Steve Buckley joins BST to discuss an excerpt from his recent column, which stated that Brady’s injury is a reminder that the Patriots should not have traded Jimmy Garoppolo. 

17:33 - The Celtics are coming off possibly their worst performance of the season. Does their dip in offense this month give us a cause for concern? Michael Holley, Tom Giles, Kayce Smith and Lou Merloni discuss.

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