FOXBOROUGH — If you’re nervous and anxious about the Patriots opener against the Chiefs, don’t worry about it. You’re in good company.
As he prepares for his 18th NFL opener, Tom Brady revealed Monday that he’ll wake up Thursday morning with a familiar feeling: butterflies. And the Patriots quarterback welcomes them. He knows they won’t be around long.
“I think everybody does. Everyone works hard and it’s very unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen,’’ said Brady. “We, as players, feel like that, too. We’re prepared, we’re confident, but you’ve still got to go out there and do it, and you’ve got to do it against a team that you’ve studied but not much this year . . . Yeah, there will definitely be nerves and being anxious, but that’s part of football. And once you get out there and start going, those things will calm down.’’
The reigning Super Bowl MVP said along with those butterflies comes a feeling of excitement because he’s getting back on the field for the first time since February. He said that with all the hype that’s involved in a primetime opener, it’s important not to lose focus that there’s a task at hand.
“Everyone’s pretty amped for this one. [We’ve] been waiting a long time for this,’’ he said. “[We’re] starting the season and I know they’ve got a lot of events planned, so probably families are coming in. It’s a big game and it’s an important one. You know, we’re playing one of the best teams in the AFC . . . They try to make this game big. They get good teams playing and we know we’re going to have to play a great game in order to win.’’
Brady, who this offseason told MMQB that he “has the answers to the test” now that he “has seen it all” from defenses, kind of backed off that stance. He said preparing for anything is the key and when a team presents something he hasn’t prepared for adequately, that’s when trouble arises.
“You know, it’s football, and football is very humbling,’’ he said. “I mean, you may think you go out there, practice and things go well, and then you go to a particular game and they do things that maybe you haven’t worked on or have thought about or haven’t talked about. I think the experience helps with maybe just some recall about things we could do to solve the problems that maybe a team is presenting us.’’
Brady is fully aware of the pomp and circumstance that accompanies opening the season following a Super Bowl win — he’s done it four times already — but he said the time for player celebrating is over.
“I don’t even know if we’ll be out there when that [banner is unveiled], but that’s kind of for the fans,’’ he said. “I mean, this team has thought about the 2017 season. [Last season] was great. We celebrated and had a great time, but this team has to earn its own. Everything we get we’re going to have to earn. Our goals are ahead of us . . . We’re starting a marathon.’’
Just a month after celebrating his 40th birthday, Brady dismissed any notion that playing and preparing could “get old” for him.
“Playing football? Oh no,’’ he said. “Football is one of the great joys of my life. I love it every day.’’
Brady also said that despite his strict diet, he hasn’t lost weight in the interest of better health during his playing career.
“Nope, I’m pretty stable,’’ he said. “I’ve been that way for a long time – close to 230 pounds.’’
The Patriots enter this season with just Jimmy Garoppolo as Brady’s backup after trading Jacoby Brissett to the Colts for receiver Phillip Dorsett. The three quarterbacks had formed a tight bond over the last year, calling themselves “The Wolfpack.’’
“He’s a great young player,’’ Brady said when asked his impressions of Brissett. “I loved my time with him. He was a great person, friend, teammate. He always will be. I want nothing but the very best for him.’’