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Brady: December 'Is When You Have To Be At Your Best'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady trotted out to the group of reporters outside Torero Stadium on the University of San Deigo campus, and received a compliment he's probably heard hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of times before.

"You are gorgeous," a female fan yelled out to the Patriots quarterback.

Brady just shared a laugh with the gathered media and then it was on to the San Diego Chargers -- New England's opponent on Sunday night.

The Patriots arrived in San Diego shortly after their loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, saving them a couple of flights in the process. After a few somewhat rainy days of relaxation, Brady and the Patriots were back on the practice field on Wednesday, just like any other week.

"It has been good. We had a good couple of days and got off to a good start yesterday. We're still early in the preparation," Brady told reporters. "But now it's starting to feel like the California weather, as opposed to yesterday. Hopefully we have a good day of practice. The guys have had a lot of time being together and spent a lot of time we aren't typically able to spend."

There are just four more games left on the schedule for the Patriots, who sit at 9-3 on the season and in the top spot of the AFC. December has always been a successful month for Brady, who is 45-7 with 88 touchdowns in December during his career.

"December, this is what football season is all about. Regardless of what you've done to this point, everyone's season is decided at this point here," said Brady. "This is when you have to be at your best. We got off to a slow start last weekend, but hopefully we can rebound this weekend and go out and play much better."

When asked about his success during the regular season's final month, Brady was quick to say it's not just him -- it's a full team effort.

"That's the strength of our team, not my strength. That really speaks to the work ethic, discipline and mental toughness of our guys," he said. "It's not easy to get up every day on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and grind through it like we do. It may not be short-term positive feelings, but in the end, that's when it pays off the most. You just have to grind through it; ultimately it comes down to your execution and how you go out play. And our team has always done a good job at that this time of the year when it matters."

This year, December starts on the west coast for the Patriots. Brady has also had some success against the Chargers, owning a 4-2 career record against San Diego, but knows no game is ever easy. The Chargers have defensive end Dwight Freeney, who has introduced Brady to the turf a few times throughout his 14-year career, and boast a tough pass defense, which ranks 7th in the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game (221.6 yards), led by safety Eric Weddle.

"They've got a real good pass rush. I mean Freeney has been a pain in our butt for a long time. He continues to be," said Brady. "They have a good, athletic group of linebackers. They rotate a lot of guys. The secondary is really solid. Eric Weddle is one of the best safeties in the league. He's just free all the time, finds the ball. He's a really smart player. You can see how he really brings that whole defense together. They have a lot of good players.

"They've had a great season," Brady continued. "They went on the road in Baltimore and beat a really good team on the road, which is tough to do. That's what we're going to need to be able to do."



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