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Brady says Goodell has his 'respect' despite legal battle over Deflategate

PITTSBURGH -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said something nice about the man who tried to take four NFL games away from him.

When addressing Steelers media on a conference call, Brady said he has "a great amount of respect for [Roger Goodell]" despite battling the NFL commissioner in court over the star quarterback's role in the Deflategate scandal. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman reversed Goodell's four-game suspension of Brady. The NFL has appealed the ruling.

"I certainly have a great amount of respect for the commissioner and what his job is," Brady said. "My job is to be the best quarterback I can be. That's what I'm going to try to be on Thursday."

The Patriots host the Steelers on Thursday at 8:30 ET in Gillette Stadium. Brady deflected many Deflategate questions, saying he's had "a lot of personal feelings" on the matter and the discussion is "for another time." After addressing New England media earlier today, Brady spoke with Pittsburgh reporters around 5:15 p.m. ET.

"I've been dealing with that for seven months," said Brady of the scandal. "I'm really at the point where I'm focused on the Steelers."

Considering Brady's fiery on-field persona, that seven months could be important to the Steelers -- as in, he's letting out seven months of aggression on the field.

When asked about that, Brady simply said, "It's time for me to do my job."

Meanwhile, a tweet was posted earlier Sunday to the NFL's official account that appeared to leave Brady out of the topic in a graphic asking what quarterbacks would be facing off in the Super Bowl this season. The graphic featured cutout photos of Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Carson Palmer -- but no Brady.

The Tweet was deleted at some point in the day after Brady made his comments on Goodell.

Brady is 5-2 against the Steelers all-time (3-0 at home) with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions.

"Anything that has happened over the last seven months really hasn't been my job," Brady said. "This is what my job is -- to go out there and try to be a great leader for our team, to try to go out and execute the plays that are called and execute them at a high level. So, that's where my focus has been. There has been a lot of studying, a lot of trying to figure out how they are going to play."

Brady considers the Steelers a team with a lot of experience and speed. He expects the Steelers -- with a new-look defense under first-year coordinator Keith Butler -- to have a similar foundation while incorporating new plays. Brady said the Patriots' offense is preparing for potential blitz packages the Steelers might throw their way. Brady mentioned cornerback William Gay as "really a playmaker for them."

"Sometimes preparing for these openers are tough because you don't have a lot of film on what they've done to incorporate different players and new schemes," Brady said. "We can only really go on the preseason and what we've seen. We anticipate that there will be things that we haven't seen. You have to be prepared. Everybody has to follow their rules and we are going to have to execute at a high level if we want to score points."

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell aims to change that.

"We get to go out and try and make a statement," Mitchell said. "That's a huge opportunity."