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New England Patriots Links 9/02/09 - Brady Airing It Out In Practice

<em>Mayo earning his defensive rookie of the year status in 2008.</em>
Mayo earning his defensive rookie of the year status in 2008.

Christopher Price Brady tests shoulder at practice, tells Chris Berman it feels good.

"You can throw?" asked Berman.

"Yeah. I’ve been doing that yesterday, and we’ll be doing that over the course of the next couple weeks. I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling real positive about where our team's at. I’ve had a good preseason," said Brady, who is 26-for-42 for 307 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in three preseason games. "I’ve had a lot of good practices.

"You just shake it off, kind of identify what it is, and you move forward. It’s been a good couple of days here with getting back to feeling normal, getting back out to practice. Now, it’s just about getting ready for this Thursday’s game, and then, on to the real season."

Kevin McNamara Mayo and Guyton are ready to make a bigger impact in Bruschi's absence.

The two second-year linebackers are close friends and they now sit atop the Patriots' depth chart at inside linebacker. Whether they can fill the void left by Bruschi's retirement will be one of the keys to the upcoming season.

"He's passing the torch to us as a defense and we all have to take it and be up for the challenge right now. We need to do it as a team," said Guyton. "I'll miss him a lot. He's a great guy, a great leader, great character. Since I've been here he's always taken me under his wing and taught me the game and I've learned a lot."

Fluto Shinzawa DL Myron Pryor is seeing his hard work pay off with a better understanding of the system.

"The techniques and concepts they teach us, you might see as kind of confusing,’’ said the 23-year-old. "But once you study it, look at film, and learn how it’s being taught, I think it’s way easier. First of all, you’re not wearing yourself down as much as when you’re playing aggressively. Second of all, instead of putting yourself out of the play, you’re able to make a play instead of just going with how the offense is playing. I think I’m learning the playbook and understanding how much better it can be with the two-gap situation.’’

"It took a while,’’ Pryor said of adjusting from college to pro. "But I’m starting to understand it now. The last time I did practice, I just felt better, better than when I played the last preseason game [against Cincinnati]. I felt like I could play how they’re teaching us. I played the way they wanted me to play. I felt better playing that kind of scheme. "With this defense, you have a lot of opportunities to make plays and help out your teammates.’’