Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/12/12

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 30: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms ups against the New Orleans Saints at Louisana Superdome on November 30, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
We didn’t think Tom Brady was going to be heading out for Black Friday deals the day after Thanksgiving, but we didn’t think he was going to be doing this, either. Brady said Wednesday that he spent the day after the Patriots’ Thanksgiving night stomp-down of the Jets doing some football prep work. But here’s the catch — it wasn’t against New England’s next opponent, the Dolphins, or even the next one after that (last Sunday’s Texans). Brady was doing his homework on the Dec. 16 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. “After the Thursday night game against the Jets, I tried to do a bunch of work on the 49ers,” he said, according to The Boston Globe. “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.” Forget 10 years ago — it’s pretty brave of Brady to do that at any time. The Patriots, after all, are the “take it one week at a time” team, and for Brady to be looking as far as three weeks ahead is pretty surprising, no matter how good the defensively robust 49ers are. But now that the Patriots have batted away both the Dolphins and Texans, Brady’s extra prep looks like a good idea, considering the 49ers will likely be New England’s biggest test this season. “[It's a] very hard-hitting group,” Brady said. “I’d say the whole defense is that way. It’s a very physical defense. … It’s a lot of challenges. We’re going to 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.” If that’s the case, why didn’t Brady start preparing for the 49ers before the Jets game?
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