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."