Tom Brady: Nothing better than MNF

After six days off over the bye week, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was already looking ahead as he prepared to return to work Tuesday morning. In his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI on the “Dennis and Callahan” show, Brady said the team will need its best performance of the season to defeat the Carolina Panthers on Monday night in Charlotte.

“There's nothing better than playing on ‘Monday Night Football' and playing against one of the best teams in the NFC,” he said. “That's what it's all about for me. It's time to get back to work. It's football season and it's time for us to go out and see what we're made of in the second half of the year.”

Brady, who conducted the early-morning interview while driving to Gillette Stadium, said the Panthers have one of the best defenses in the NFL because they can pressure the quarterback with the standard four rushers. He came away impressed with their 10-9 victory at San Francisco on Sunday.

“They went into San Francisco and beat San Fran and we know what kind of team they're all about,” Brady said of the 6-3 Panthers, who have won five straight. “It's a tough team, they're physical, their front seven is as good as anybody -- their pass-rushers, their run-stoppers. They have playmakers in the secondary. So it has to be our best game, there is no doubt about it, on ‘Monday Night Football.' We'll see what we're made of.”

While the bye week was nice to rest, Brady explained how it also reminded him what he appreciates about the game.

“I was talking to my wife two days ago and said ‘I just love football.' When it's Sunday and everyone else is playing and you're not, you're a fish out of water,” he explained. “You're watching [and] if I'm not around a TV I'm updating my phone every five minutes to see what's going on with every score. It's probably more anxious when you're not playing because you're watching games and thinking about the outcomes and watching how teams are doing. That's just the life of a football player. There wasn't many moments when I wasn't thinking about the game. ...

“It was a good week. We got a lot of football stuff done and had a few days of a little mental break, but we're back at it today,” he continued. “It's actually great to be back driving into work. ... The best part for me is driving back in, this time of year, to go back to work.”

Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, had posted a picture of the family on the beach over the bye weekend. That drew a laugh from Brady.

“She loves that Instagram and keeping everyone updated. Sometimes she doesn't even tell me and I'm like, ‘Why am I in that picture?'” he cracked.