FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick shared his appreciation Friday for quarterback Tom Brady ’s commitment to health and availability to practice on a daily basis, and in the process paid backup Jimmy Garoppolo a high compliment.
The topic is timely after Brady took a hit on his right quad from Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor in Sunday night’s 31-24 loss and came up limping at the time, but hasn’t missed any practice time since.
“There are a lot of great qualities that Tom and that’s right at the top of the list. Certainly it’s important for him to be physically healthy, but it’s very important for the team, on a weekly basis, to be able to go out and practice and get the timing with the quarterback who is going to play in the game,” Belichick said.
“If you’re missing the quarterback, you can still get it and certainly we have a good quarterback in Jimmy, and Jimmy can go out and run everything that Tom can run. We’ve seen that. So I’m not saying that he’s not capable or qualified to do it. He is, and he does a great job of it. When we put Jimmy in there, it’s really seamless. Unless you were actually looking at the position, and if you just could just block out that position and say, ‘Which guy was in there at quarterback?’ I don’t know if you would know a lot of times.
“But for the quarterback to have that kind of consistency with the snap count, the cadence, the way that his voice or mannerisms or reminders in the huddle, little things like that; the whole timing and everything on the line of scrimmage and running the plays in practice, that is a huge carryover to the games.
“Again, Tom’s consistency to do that -- not only for himself but for the rest of the team and the ability for the rest of the team to have been able to count on that -- is very important.”
Brady’s commitment to his health contributed to a change in his weekly schedule, as his regular media availability on Wednesday was moved to Friday this week so he could receive more treatment before practice.
Brady’s overall approach has caught Belichick’s eye over the years.
“It definitely stands out. Tom works very hard on his physical conditioning, recovery, rest and so forth. It’s really 24/7, 365 days a year. Every day he’s here, I don’t know if it’s 365 days a year, but every day I see him here he’s doing those things,” Belichick said. “He’s not just in here putting in time. He’s in here to work on his training, work on his conditioning, work on his recovery, get treatment, and do whatever he can do to physically maintain or improve where he’s at. It’s a daily thing for Tom.”