FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- File this one under "things you don't expect to hear" at a Tom Brady news conference.
Brady had answered a handful of questions about his injured left shoulder Wednesday when the discussion turned to the number of hits he's taken this season (32). He was offered a lighthearted question about whether he's been hit more because he's realized he can move around better at the age of 40. That made Brady smile and think about spinach.
"That’s not it, nope. I wish I could do that. Yeah, I am what I am.
"Who said that?" Brady asked the assembled media before answering himself. "That’s a very famous quote. Popeye said that."
The only thing missing was an Olive Oyl reference.
Brady touched on a few other topics of note in his news conference and then in his call with New York Jets reporters:
On Danny Amendola -- "He’s had such a great year. I can’t say enough good things about Danny and everything he’s meant to our offense. I mean, he’s so tough and, to me, he’s uncoverable. You turn on the tape, he’s getting away from people, no matter what the route, no matter who’s on him, no matter what’s called, leverage, distance of the route. He’s just been so great for us this year. I’m going to try to keep finding him because when you have that kind of trust, when you see it play after play after play -- you know, you’re the quarterback. You’ve got one ball. It goes to the guy who’s open, and Danny’s always finding a way to get open."
On his health after taking 32 hits -- "I feel really good. I feel good. I feel ready to go. I’ve been working hard this week to get ready and be as prepared as I can be this weekend."
On the offensive line -- "I think those guys have done a great job, I really do. I mean, I think they’re fighting their butts off on every play. The ball’s got to come out on time and find the open guy and cut it loose. You know, we’ve got to do a good job of that at the quarterback position. I love that group up front. We’ve got great tackles, great center, great guards. We’ve been in some competitive games and we’re going to keep fighting. That’s where it’s at."
On preparing himself to take hits -- "I’m very proactive with how I take care of myself. I understand part of the position is standing there and taking hits. So I just try to prepare my body as best I can for it so [that] when you take them your body can respond and then you can kind of get back to feeling as good as you possibly can as quickly as you possibly can. So, rather than sitting out multiple weeks, maybe it’s a day or two days. At this point I feel great. I’m not sore. I have great energy. I feel strong. I feel prepared. I’ve just got to go out there and play good this weekend."