Patriots

No days off: Brady present at Patriots practices, says he's 'feeling better'

No days off: Brady present at Patriots practices, says he's 'feeling better'

FOXBORO -- Over the course of the last three weeks, Tom Brady has taken Wednesdays to receive some extra treatment. This week? No days off.

In a slight change from what has become the norm since he's been listed on the injury report with an Achilles issue, he has been out there for Patriots practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. He's been a full participant at both sessions. 

"Just feeling better," he said on Thursday. "Short week so try to get out there to practice. I try to take it week to week and I'm feeling really good this week so I'm happy about that."

Brady let go of a handful of throws on Monday night that looked . . . off . . . and he took a few shots from Miami's buzzing front-seven so it's hard to know exactly how well he's feeling. But if all's well, that's obviously a very good sign for a player who is about to face a team that he's historically carved up. 

Before the season, still stinging from Brady's performance against them in the AFC title game, the Steelers acknowledged that they would have to change things up defensively if they wanted a different result against him. 

Though Brady explained that Pittsburgh will mix up its coverages, they still look like the same defense he's come to know quite well over the years. 

"Within their zone there's always man elements," he said. "It looks like the Steelers to me. They've had the same defense for a long time. Whatever they decide to do, we'll be prepared for it. We prepare for everything. We'll go out there and cut it loose on Sunday."

And what of the off chance that the Steelers do shift gears drastically? What if jettison the zone pressure schemes they're known for and pull something else -- maybe some of the Cover-1 looks the Dolphins used on third down Monday night -- out of their hats? 

Brady wasn't all that concerned about being faced with the unexpected.

"I mean, I think at this point in the year, it’s not like you’re going to go reinvent your whole defense in Week 15," he said. "They’re ranked pretty high. They do a lot of things well. I’m sure they’re going to want to continue to do those things well. They rush good, they’re tight in coverage, they mix their schemes in – zone and man and blitzes – and they do it on all three downs. They don’t make it easy for you.

"Now, for us, it’s just being on alert. We’re going to try to go out and play the way we play, too, and that’s what makes for a good game. They’ve had a lot of good teams over the years. These are always pretty big matchups and this is a big one for both of us."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Gisele wants Tom Brady to Retire?

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Gisele wants Tom Brady to Retire?

0:41 - Jay Feely, former college teammate of Tom Brady at Michigan, says that Gisele asked him to convince Brady to retire. Tom Curran, Lou Merloni, and Kayce Smith discuss how long Brady will play for and if Gisele will have a say when he retires.

6:08 - Chris Mannix joins BST to talk about the team meeting that the Cavaliers players held about Kevin Love, where Isaiah Thomas was reportedly one of the players that spoke up.

11:47 - Phil Perry gives his Patriots grades for each position in the AFC Championship victory over the Jaguars.

16:47 - Tom Curran and Michael Holley discuss if the Eagles were the worst matchup for the Patriots to play in the Super Bowl.

QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: How much better are the Eagles than the Jaguars? What are the biggest threats to Patriots?

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QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: How much better are the Eagles than the Jaguars? What are the biggest threats to Patriots?

Jerod Mayo joins Phil Perry and Tom E. Curran to discuss the Patriots-Eagles Superbowl matchup

(2:00) are Patriots fans becoming numb to their team going to the Super Bowl?

(8:00) Jerod Mayo joins Curran and Perry to discuss whether the excitement of going to the Super Bowl ever changes for players.

(11:00) Why was Blake Bortles and the Jaguars able to have success against the Patriots defense?

(20:00) Can the Eagles defense build off of what the Jaguars did to slow down the Patriots?

(24:00) Jerod Mayo on why the Patriots running backs were not as effective against the Jaguars.

(29:00) How much better are the Eagles than the Jaguars?

(30:00) How hard is it for opposing teams to keep their composure against the Patriots?

LISTEN HERE: Quick Slants the Podcast