Fans cheer Brady at Pats training camp
Fans drove to Gillette Stadium past a booth selling “Free Tom Brady” T-shirts.
Then, when they arrived for the New England Patriots’ first training camp practice on Thursday, they let the star quarterback know how they felt.
Brady took the field to a boisterous cheer from the more than 10,000 fans who sat in a sweltering sun to see the Super Bowl champions open the defence of their title.
Team owner Robert Kraft, who lashed out at the NFL a day earlier for upholding Brady’s suspension, also got loud applause when he came out on the field.
Kraft waved to fans when he arrived and then signed autographs for about 20 minutes at the end of practice. Fans were overwhelmingly supportive of the owner, according to an Associated Press photographer who witnessed the exchanges in an area off limits to writers.
Up above, an airplane buzzed the practice field towing a banner that said: “Cheaters Look Up!” and listing the Twitter handle of a New York Jets fan website.
But at ground level, Brady looked sharp in his first football action since the Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in February for the franchise’s — and his — fourth NFL title.