-- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. --? Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told Westwood One radio that he has spent the first week of a four-game NFL suspension by staying in shape, spending time with his family and picking his children up from school, and said he is flattered by the large banner of him that the team placed on the lighthouse at Gillette Stadium.
"I think it was a very cool gesture by Mr. Kraft and the team," Brady told Jim Gray in an interview leading up to Thursday night's NFL opener. "I'll be excited to be back out there in October, when I'm there for real, but it was a really cool thing to do, and I was certainly very humbled and flattered to see it."
Brady, who again will be a weekly guest on the pregame show with Gray, said he has seen "quite a bit of" the banner on social media but has yet to see it in person.
"Not quite jail, but I feel like I don't have the opportunity to do something I love to do," Brady told Gray. "That's the hard part about the situation we're in. Like I said, I'm going to try to be positive about that and spend some quality time with my family and pick my kids up from school and do some things that I won't have the opportunity to do in October, November and December, and hopefully for the years to come. Hopefully I can keep playing football for a long time and I don't have to ever sit out a September for as long as I'm playing."
Brady also was asked about his helmet not having an NFL decal on it during the two preseason games in which he played, which sparked speculation that perhaps he removed it.
"No, I didn't," he said. "I don't even pay attention to what's on my helmet. I just hope the helmet is functional. That's all I'm trying to get the helmet to be. I don't pay attention to the stickers, or whatever else is on there. I certainly didn't remove anything."
Brady also dismissed any thought that there is a rift between him and backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
"I think there's obviously a lot of things that are said over the course of a season to try to divide our team," he said. "That's never been what our team has been about. I want all the players on our team to do great. Certainly, Jimmy, I know him really well. He's really done a great job preparing himself, and I'm excited to see how he makes the most of his opportunity."
Brady told Gray that he will watch all of the Patriots' games, and hopes it makes him a better player.
"I'm a pretty positive person," Brady said. "I use all these different situations in my life as learning experiences and I've certainly learned a lot about myself, about my support system, about the people that care about me, my teammates, my friendships.
"And I look forward to going out there and playing when I have the opportunity to do it. Sometimes when you're not out there, you gain a different perspective, and you gain maybe more appreciation for what you do. I did have that chance in 2008 under different circumstances when I got injured and had a chance to sit back and watch from afar. Unfortunately I'll be doing that again for these four weeks and hopefully I can gain maybe a deeper perspective and maybe one I couldn't have gained if I was out there playing. That's what I'm looking forward to figuring out."
As for his decision not to pursue further legal action against the NFL, which Brady previously addressed, he told Gray, "I owe my teammates to be the best that I can be, and to have this divided attention that I had at different points last season was something that didn't really serve me."