x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Enough talking, Patriots' Brady ready to start playing

Tom Brady says the New England Patriots just 'want to play football'. The quarterback and reigning NFL MVP has a good feeling about his team for this season.

Tom Brady is ready to stop talking about football and start playing some.

And that is usually bad news for NFL defences.

The reigning Most Valuable Player, who turned 34 this week, said the players' reaction to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement being signed was unanimous.

"It's a great day for the NFL," Brady said. "It was exciting news when we all got the word that it had been ratified and all the players got a chance to practice.

"We just want to play football. That's all we've really wanted to do, and we have the ability to do that now."

Many are pointing to the New England's continuity - this is Brady's 12th season with the same head coach, Bill Belichick, and the same offensive system - as a reason the Patriots should come out of the blocks fast. But Brady said there was much work to be done in a short time.

"The learning curve has to be so fast," he said. "You can't come out here and have a bad practice. You don't have many of them."

Several recent events have buoyed Brady's spirits, including the signings of Matt Light, the veteran offensive linemen, the All-Pro Logan Mankins, and Nate Solder, the team's first-round draft pick.

"The continuity we have over the years [on the offensive line] has been great," he said. "That's really a position of strength for us and always has been."

The quarterback is still getting to know the free agent wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who came to the Patriots after 10 years with the Cincinnati Bengals. The two hooked up for a touchdown on a goal-line drill on Friday. "The thing I love about him is that he's very competitive and he wants to do the right thing," Brady said.