Brady bullish in fo­cus on Ti­tans

Star QB ready to go after fort­night of drama off field

StarMetro Toronto - - Toronto -

Maybe the Ten­nessee Ti­tans are com­ing up for Tom Brady and the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots at the per­fect time.

After a drama-filled week, the quar­ter­back says his fo­cus re­mains solely on foot­ball as his team pre­pares to host the Ti­tans in Satur­day’s di­vi­sional round.

Dur­ing Brady’s ten­ure the Pa­tri­ots are 6-1 against the Ti­tans. He has 13 pass­ing touch­downs and one in­ter­cep­tion in those games — his best touch­down to in­ter­cep­tion ra­tio against any op­po­nent in his ca­reer.

He also is 6-0 against Mike Mu­larkey-coached teams.

But that hasn’t changed the ap­proach for Brady, who is pre­par­ing for his 35th play­off start in the after­math of re­cent re­ports sug­gest­ing dis­cord be­tween him­self, coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft.

In a joint state­ment last week, all three men brushed aside any in­sin­u­a­tion of strife at the top of one of the NFL’S jewel fran­chises. Brady re­it­er­ated on Thursday that his mind re­mains on the field.

“We do what we al­ways do. We show up to work and try to do the best we can do,’’ he said. “We know there’s a lot at stake and I think ev­ery­one’s put a lot into it. It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter what hap­pened out­side of this fa­cil­ity.’’

Pa­tri­ots re­ceiver Danny Amen­dola hasn’t no­ticed any change in Brady.

“He’s the ul­ti­mate pro­fes­sional and he (makes) his team­mates bet­ter and he de­mands a lot,’’ Amen­dola said. “We all want to win for him, and we all want to play hard for him.’’

Ten­nessee rec­og­nizes the chal­lenge it faces against Brady. It opened the week as a 13-point un­der­dog, and prior to last week hadn’t won a play­off game since the 2003 sea­son.

That doesn’t mean the Ti­tans fear the Pa­tri­ots.

“It’s a play­off game, so it’s not like it’s the pre-sea­son where I can go out there, ’Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin,’’’ Ten­nessee Al­lpro safety Kevin Byard said. “This is a play­off game. So I don’t re­ally care if it was Joe Mon­tana. You know what I’m say­ing? I’m try­ing to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like (Jack­sonville Jaguars quar­ter­back) Blake Bor­tles if I can to try to catch a cou­ple picks.

“Tom Brady is a great quar­ter­back, but it’s a play­off game. I’m not re­ally look­ing at it like that.’’

With un­rest swirling, Tom Brady’s Pa­tri­ots face the Ti­tans on Satur­day in Foxbor­ough, Mass.

Steven Senne/the Associated PRESS

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