Pats QB Brady jokes that he's still slow after ankle injury
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady described the lingering effects of his injury late last season, saying Saturday that his ankle now feels really good, but he joked that he's still slow and can't jump.
Speaking on the second day of the three-day mandatory minicamp, Brady said his off season training program has been somewhat limited by the fact that still does not lift a lot of weight. "That hasn't changed," the NFL's Most Valuable Player told reporters.
Brady, who turns 31 in August, first injured his ankle against San Diego in the AFC championship game. News of the injury broke when he was first photographed in New York wearing a protective boot two weeks before the Super Bowl.
The passing combos of Brady to Randy Moss and Wes Welker helped the Patriots go unbeaten in the regular season and two playoff games. But they were stunned in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants, 17-14.
Brady says the Patriots have moved on from the disappointing loss and are looking forward to improve in the next six weeks and then getting back together at the end of July month for training camp.
"There are a lot of new guys who weren't a part of that, so they don't bring any of those memories or that energy in here," Brady said. Coach Bill Belichick has also been preaching to returning players "that what happened last year is something for us to learn from and move on from."
"In life, you don't reflect too much on what happened in the past. You try to learn from it and build on it. We can only control what we did today, which in this case was a really good practice."
Brady said he is happy that Moss agreed to return to New England after signing a three-year deal worth $27 million, saying his favorite target appears in great shape for the upcoming season.
Moss, who caught a record 23 TD passes from Brady during the season, had five receptions for 62 yards and a TD in the Super Bowl.
"Randy and I, we have a great relationship," Brady said. "I know this is the place where he wanted to be and we wanted him. Usually the contract situations work out when that happens. He adds so much to this offense"
He hooked up with veteran backup quarterback Matt Cassel on a couple of nice plays during passing drills, including a long touchdown as he laid out to make the catch.
Pollard, who has played with some of the NFL's best quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning of Indianapolis and Matt Hasselbeck at Seattle, now has a chance to hook up with Brady, the All-Pro quarterback.
"Marcus has done a great job coming in here and learning what we do. He's been to a couple of different offenses but he seems like he's picked this one up pretty quickly," Brady said. "Just in the last few days he's really taken to this offense and he's made a bunch of plays in these camps."
"I just wanted a chance to play and win some games," Pollard, 36, said about his decision to join the Patriots. "They told me I'd have an opportunity here and I'm just looking to contribute in any way I can -- special teams, blocking, wham blocking, whatever."
Belichick said Pollard's experience -- has career totals of 349 catches and 40 touchdowns -- is valuable.
"Marcus knows the passing game. He has a lot of experience in offenses such as Indianapolis' and Mike Martz's West Coast offense" while with Detroit, Belichick said.
Besides Watson, Thomas and Pollard, three other tight ends are competing for three, possibly four roster spots.
They include third-year player Stephen Spach, who played in three games last season after injuries decimated the tight end corps, and undrafted free agents Tyson DeVree of Colorado and Jonathan Stupar of Virginia.
"This team is going to take on an entire different appearance," Brady said. "I hope what we put out there in the field is up to the championship level that we've put up in the past."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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