Belichick to Brady: 'You'll play'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he spoke with coach Bill Belichick this week about his desire to play Sunday against the Texans, and relayed Belichick's response.

"You'll play, don't worry about that. You'll be playing."

The question remains how much, as the Patriots have already clinched a home playoff game.

"As players, we obviously don't factor into any of those decisions that coach Belichick makes," Brady said. "It's our job to prepare to play and I certainly am. I'm out there doing all my regular practice stuff.

"I want to play and I want to do great. I want to have a great game against a team that is fighting for their playoff lives, and has a lot of great players and really challenges you in some different ways. It's a meaningful game for us, it's a meaningful game for them, too. It would be great for us to go win on the road in a real tough environment against a damn good team."

Brady said he's even heard the question from his father this week.

"My dad said, 'Are you guys going to play this week?' Of course I want to play. I don't want to lose a game. You don't just forfeit these games. Playing Houston, I don't want to see one of them in the offseason and them saying 'Hey, we beat you guys.' Screw that. You have to go out there and play."

Brady was also asked if he expects to stay in the entire game if the score is close.

"Sure," he responded. "Close game. Blowout. We get behind. I'm expecting to play the whole game. I wouldn't see why I wouldn't."

Brady kept things light when he was asked about the comments by Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley that the Patriots and Benglas would "lay down" for their virtually meaningless games Sunday because they don't want the Super Bowl champion Steelers to make the playoffs.

Asked if he had a response, Brady said he didn't, before playing on the connection between the two -- their Michigan ties.

"A Michigan guy, that surprises me. Usually we keep our mouths shut. I guess not. I'm going to give [former] Coach [Lloyd] Carr a call and straighten him out."

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.