FOXBORO (CBS) — Ready or not, the football season is fast approaching. Standing between the Patriots and the games that really count are two preseason contests. And with Carolina coming to town on Friday night, quarterback Tom Brady is looking forward to getting in his work.

“This is a good game to really gauge where you’re at, because we’re playing a really good team, a great defense, one that we played last year and we really struggled with at times. This will tell us where we’re at,” Brady said Wednesday. “They’ve got some of the best linebackers, a very good secondary and one of the best pass rushes in all of the league, so it’s a good challenge and I think the guys are excited. This is a big week that we tried to make some improvements, and we’ll see if it pays off.”

Entering his 15th season in the NFL, Brady said playing in the preseason is still a very valuable experience.

“You’ve got to get out there and play, get your mind working, and get into the situations and concentrate for extended periods of time. And certainly, we’re going to be asked to do four quarters of that in three weeks, so we’ve got to go out and see where we’re at,” he said. “Hopefully we’re in good enough condition to play a half — hopefully we’re going to play a lot more than that — but it’ll be good to see where we’re at.”

Brady was also asked the team’s expectations, and whether they are any higher than usual after the big additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Brady’s answer was perfectly Patriots.

“I think we’ve set a pretty high bar, and I think that’s what we’re out here to achieve, that’s what athletics are about and competition at the highest level in the NFL brings out the best in everybody,” Brady said. “There’s only one reason to play this game, and that’s to try to win every time you take the field. If you like that, then this is probably a good program for you. If you don’t like that, you probably won’t last long.

“The competition starts in the meeting rooms, goes onto the practice fields, certainly onto the game field, and we all hold each other accountable for the highest expectations for each individual player, whatever role it may be. … That’s what makes a really good player and teammate, is when you don’t have to rely on someone to do their job. You just know that they’ll do their job, which really frees you up to do your job.”



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