BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady did actually talk some football before pulling a QB sneak when asked about Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Brady will play his first home game of the season on Sunday, as the Patriots host the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. After missing out on the first four games of the season due to his DeflateGate suspension, including three in front of the New England fans, Brady is eager to get out there.
“I’m very excited. It will be a great game. They’re a very good team we’re playing so I know the crowd will be into it,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s always pretty fun to be out there. We have a great crowd and hopefully we give them lots of reasons to cheer. We’ve always had such great support here and it’s a great place to play. Hopefully we make enough plays to keep them out all game.”
Brady said this week has felt more normal to him after making his return last week, but he’s still getting back into his regular routine after having a month off from football.
He certainly looked fine in last week’s 33-13 win over the Bengals, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. All three of those touchdowns went to Martellus Bennett, a new target for Brady, but one that has fit in nicely to form a two-headed monster with Rob Gronkowski.
“Martellus has been so productive being here for such a short time,” said Brady. “What Gronk did last week, getting back to where he wants to be, it’s a big part of our offense. They’re tough matchups; they’re both 6-foot-6-plus, 270-pounds-plus. They’re very unique players.
“It’s great because like on the touchdown to Martellus, one of them, they focused all their coverage on Gronk, and then Martellus gets the one-on-one and he gets the ball,” Brady continued. “If you’re playing with a guy like Gronk, it’s great for you because you’re not the one getting double covered, so you’ll have opportunities and you have to take advantage of the opportunities when you get them.”
While it was the Brady-Bennett show for much of the afternoon in Cleveland, the quarterback applauded the balance from his array of weapons last Sunday, as he hit seven targets at least twice.
“There was a lot of contributions from a lot of places, and that’s what makes a good offense,” he said. “The skill players have done a great job when they’ve gotten the opportunities. Again, it’s just distributing the ball. Whether we’re running it or throwing it, which part of the field we’re throwing it – outside, inside, deep, short – everybody has to play a role.”
The Bengals come to Gillette with a 2-3 record following a 28-14 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas. Things didn’t work out so well for the Bengals the last time they came to Foxboro, getting crushed by the Patriots 43-17 on National TV back in 2014. That came a week after the Patriots were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, a game that led to some pundits to say the Patriots — and Brady — were finished.
Brady said that game was a long time ago, and took the chance to sing the praises of a Bengals team that has won the AFC North in two of the last three seasons.
“I think they’re very talented with a very talented group of players, and they have a good scheme that’s proven to win over years,” he said of Cincinnati. “It’s a very tough team. They’re talented and there are a lot of guys who were on that team in 2014 are still there. Coach talked a lot about their continuity… They’re going to give us everything they’ve got.”
Tune in to Patriots-Bengals Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV — the flagship stations of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins on 98.5FM with Patriots Preview at 10 a.m., and on WBZ-TV at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. Three full hours of postgame coverage follows on The Sports Hub, with Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV.