FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — Tom Brady is glad to have things back to normal as he prepares for his second game since having his four-game NFL suspension overturned by a federal judge.
"Yes. It's been nice," he said Wednesday. "All football, it's been great."
Brady had his suspension lifted in the New York court by Judge Richard Berman on Sept. 3, just a week before the opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
So along with all the hoopla surrounding the opener, and the unveiling of the Patriots' fourth championship banner, there was the uproar of Brady being able to play — ending doubt over whether it would be Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo as New England's quarterback against the Steelers.
Brady hit a franchise-record 19 straight passes at one point and threw for four touchdowns, three to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the 28-21 win.
Now, as he and his team prepare for Sunday's game at Buffalo, Brady knows they have to be ready for anything from old rival and new Buffalo coach Rex Ryan.
"I'm sure coach Ryan will have them ready to go," Brady said. "He's a great coach, they're playing really well. . I'm sure he'll have some wrinkles for us. He always does."
Brady is 23-3 lifetime against the Bills, with one of the three losses in the meaningless regular-season finale last season. Ryan had nothing to do with that. The Patriots were 9-4 against Ryan's Jets from 2009-2014, the last four games decided by a total of nine points.
As usual, Brady and the Patriots expect Ralph Wilson Stadium to be loud, perhaps a bit louder than usual with all the controversy surrounding the Patriots.
"It's part of pro football. You get eight and at home and eight on the road," Brady said. "To be a good team you've got to win on the road, you've got to beat division opponents on the road. Every time we go to an opposing stadium we know that there's no one cheering for us and that's just part of it.
"I think you've got to use the energy to heighten your level of attention and focus, discipline, and then go out there and try to execute really well. But it's great. It's a great feeling when you shut everyone up by the fourth quarter and half the stadium is cleared out, too. I think that's part of the motivation; to make good plays and quiet them down, take control of the game and win on the road is a very satisfying feeling."
NOTES: RB LeGarrette Blount returns for New England following his one-game NFL suspension. "He's a big back, makes a lot of plays with the ball in his hands," said coach Bill Belichick. "We'll see how it goes, but it's good to have him back, that's for sure." . WR Julian Edelman attended Sunday's U.S. Open tennis final in New York, appreciating the efforts of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. "That's why I go and watch it," he said. "I'm a fan of watching guys at the highest level, two of the best players in the world, if not in the history of the sport. These guys are dang good players. They're going to go out there and battle against each other. It was an enjoyable experience, to see it, under the lights, the whole atmosphere ..." The Patriots re-signed LB Dekoda Watson to the active roster and LB Eric Martin for the practice squad, releasing LB Alex Singleton and DL Jimmy Staten from the practice squad.