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Tom Brady marvels at gutsy Patriots

12/16/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Tom Brady on Tuesday night made a rare public appearance and agreed to an even rarer interview since suffering a season-ending left knee injury on opening day.

The iconic quarterback attended the New England Patriots' annual Salvation Army Holiday Party at Gillette Stadium.

While Brady parried most questions about how his rehab is going, he did provide a few interesting comments as reported by Boston Globe writer Mike Reiss.

On how he's feeling:

"I feel great when our team wins, I'll tell you that. This last weekend ... We have a lot of toughness on our team. I hope we can win out, this game certainly, and move forward and hopefully get a little bit of luck."

On whether the nefarious infection in his knee has cleared up:

Patriots coach Bill "Belichick never wants us to talk about any of that. We're just going to root, the season is not over. I'm on injured reserve, so I can't do much for the team at this point, other than show my support."

On his replacement, Matt Cassel, who threw four touchdowns passes Sunday while grieving his father's death:

"He's done incredible. I think he's had a very tough week. He's had a lot of support from his teammates. He's a great person, a great teammate, a great friend, and he's such a mentally tough person. Just the success that I've seen from him and his maturity is exceptional."

On the difficulty of watching the Patriots:

"Like I said, when we win, I'm excited for us. When we lose, it stinks. It's no different when you're playing or when you're watching. My heart and soul is with this team, so you live and die with every win and loss."