Tom Brady has only played his childhood favorite football team the San Francisco 49ers once in his career.
However, Sunday will be his second time facing the team from the Bay area and he’s up on his homework, getting a jump on studying the 49ers defensive tendencies as far back as Black Friday.
The Patriots beat the New York Jets on Thanksgiving; Brady then began studying the best team in the NFC the very next day.
“After the Thursday night game against the Jets I tried to do a bunch of work on the 49ers,” he said. “Put a couple of days in there. After the game on Monday night, I felt like I had to watch their most recent game and I was caught up.
I tried to take advantage of a little extra time, [with a] little extra planning. I probably wouldn’t have done that 10 years ago,” according to Zuri Berry of the Boston Globe.
“They are a very hard-hitting group,” Brady said of the secondary. “I’d say the whole defense is that way. It’s a very physical defense. Certainly at the safety position, we played Donte Whitner probably a few times and he’s as physical as there is.
Dashon Goldson, I’m really impressed by his ability. Watching him, we never played them -- I’ve never played against them -- but he’s really an impressive player.
“I think the linebackers they have are all good. They sack the quarterback. The guy Aldon Smith is on an incredible pace. What a start to a career.
So it’s a lot of challenges. We’re gonna have to play our best game. I know our guys have been preparing hard the last 24 hours. We’re going to have to continue through the rest of the week.”
“Justin Smith is a great player,” Brady said. “He’s got a great motor. He’s big, powerful, takes up two guys. He allows those other guys some one-on-one matchups.
He’s in there every play. He plays hard. He plays to the end of the play. He’s a great player. They’ve got a great front. There’s no real weakness on this defense. They do everything well.”