Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots directs his players during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
This shouldn't come as a surprise, but after seven long months and five weeks of training camp and preseason games, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is excited to get back to work. After all, the last time he was on the field when it counted was when New England lost the Super Bowl to the Giants (again).
"There's certainly a lot of excitement for everybody in the locker room," Brady said on Wednesday via the Boston Globe. "It's been a long training camp. I think everyone is excited to get to this point. It's a very good team we're playing. Certainly on defense we have a lot to prepare for, it's a challenging scheme. We've spent quite a bit of time on them already.
"And this is really the feel of the normal week, the Wednesday morning meeting that we have with coach [Bill] Belichick. You walk out of that meeting and it's just a different sense of urgency. I think all the players recognize that and we got to go out and have a good three days of preparation and then try to put together a good game for Sunday."
And Sunday, when it finally counts, the Pats will face the Tennessee Titans, a team that underachieved last season and goes into this one with first-year starter (and 2011 first-rounder) QB Jake Locker. And while Locker may be short on experience, he's one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league. Titans coach Mike Munchak spoke to that during his Wednesday media conference call.
"That’s one thing that if he needs to use his legs he can, he runs very well, but he’s a quarterback to me that can also run," Munchak said. "When you look at him, he’s a pocket guy that can make plays with his arm [and] with his smarts for a young guy. I think he has great pocket presence and the game’s not too big for him. Being a young quarterback, there’s no doubt that he’s going to see things week in and week out that he has not seen before. He could get fooled, just like all quarterbacks do, but probably more so with being a young quarterback. The advantage then is the fact that he can move around the pocket if he does miss something or if he does get confused."
One of the Pats' defenders hoping to confuse him? Cornerback Devin McCourty whose twin brother, Jason, plays the same position for the Titans.
"We've cut off all communication," Devin joked to ESPN. "I only have one brother this week."
Devin also suggested that their mom will be sporting Pats gear in LP Field in Nashville.
"There won't be any Patriots memorabilia in Nashville at all," Jason countered. "As long as she's staying with me and planning to come back to the house after the game, she'll be rooting for the Titans."