(Reuters) - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady feels no added motivation for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts team that triggered the “Deflategate” scandal that nearly kept him off the field for four games.
While many believe this matchup will have extra edge because of the fallout from their AFC Championship Game in January, both Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick maintained it would be ‘business as usual’ when the Patriots visit the Colts.
“I’m always pretty motivated,” Brady told a news conference on Wednesday when asked if he would have added incentive for the game in Indianapolis.
“It’ll be an exciting game. I know they’ve got a good team. They’ve won three straight. They made some changes this offseason, so they’re a very confident team.
“It’s going to take a great effort to beat them, so we’ll work hard at practice today, over the next few days, hopefully get us prepared, and then go out and try to beat a good team on the road on Sunday night.”
When pressed on how there could not be extra incentive, Brady replied: “I’m always pretty motivated regardless of the opponent, regardless of the team or the week, whether it’s a preseason game, whether it’s a regular season game.
“They’re all important because there are so few of those where you get an opportunity in your life, so I don’t take it for granted.
“I think it’s exciting to go out there and do something that I love to do,” said Brady, who has passed for 1,387 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions this season in guiding the Patriots to a perfect 4-0 start.
Brady, a four-times Super Bowl champion, was the focus of a probe into his alleged role in a scheme to deflate footballs used in a playoff win against the Colts last season that sent New England to the Super Bowl.
The National Football League initially determined Brady was most likely aware that balls were deflated in an apparent bid to give him a better grip, and his status for the first four games of the season was in doubt because of a league-imposed ban.
However Brady’s suspension was ultimately tossed out as a judge said the NFL ruling was plagued by “several significant legal deficiencies.”
Belichick, when asked what he had told his team ahead of Saturday’s game with so much ‘outside’ stuff going on, replied: “There are always a lot of things on the outside.
“We just try to focus on what we need to do to coach and play well on Sunday night. That’s really what our job is.”
Asked whether this week’s matchup felt a little different because of the fallout from the AFC Championship Game, Belichick replied: “We’re just going to try to do our best to go out there and prepare and play well Sunday night.”
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue