Tom Brady eyes playing at least a half

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- If recent history is any indication, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and other top players will see extended action in Friday's preseason game against the visiting Carolina Panthers. That's Brady's expectation.

"Coach told us we're going to get a lot of work," Brady said Wednesday after practice. "What that means, I don't know. I don't think anyone ever knows with him. But we'll be prepared and ready to go for 60 minutes and hopefully it's a good 60 minutes. We've had a couple doozies in the third preseason game lately. It would be nice to have a good one."

Brady was referencing last season's 40-9 loss to the Lions in the third preseason game, as well as a 34-10 loss to Detroit in the third preseason game in 2011.

In the past, coach Bill Belichick has discussed the value in having top players remain in the third preseason game into the third quarter, so they can go through the experience of making halftime adjustments. Another benefit is conditioning-based.

"We've done a bunch of that," Brady said Wednesday. "This a good game to really gauge where you're at. ...You have to get out there and play and get your mind working, and get into the situations and concentrate for extended periods of time. Certainly we're going to be asked to do four quarters of that in three weeks [in the Sept. 7 opener at Miami].

"So hopefully we're in good enough condition to play a half, and hopefully we'll play a lot more than that."

A few other soundbites from Brady:

Develin draws praise. Asked about fullback James Develin, Brady lauded him as a selfless player and great teammate. "I don't think there's a better fullback in the league," he said. "He brings so much in terms of his toughness, his attitude; it's that one position on offense that can really bring a lot of toughness. You get it out of that fullback position. I can't say enough good things about him."

Cadence as a point of emphasis. After Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III was penalized twice for a false start on Monday night because of the combination of his hand movements and voice infliction, Brady was asked about a point of emphasis on the NFL rule about simulating a snap count. "I guess you can't … the shoulders, the head, and the hands [with] the voice, they talk about calling that quite a bit," Brady relayed. "Sometimes it's just a natural [thing]; you try to inflict your voice and the movement of everything gets you going. But we have to be cautious about it, because I was warned a bunch by [referee] John Parry, who was here last week about doing that. In practice, he said, 'Look, I'm OK with it, but there are other refs who probably won't be.' So I think you just have to make the changes. Whatever the rules are, we have to adjust to them."

Happy for Hoyer. Brady wasn't aware that his former backup, Brian Hoyer, had been named the Browns starter earlier on Wednesday. When told of the news, he smiled. "I love Brian. He's such a great guy, a person, a friend. We've always kept in touch. So I'm proud of him. He's fought through some tough circumstances over the years -- getting released here, going to Arizona, getting a little bit of an opportunity there -- and really has taken advantage of the opportunity in Cleveland. It's great for him. He's a great player. I'm very happy for him."