Brady focused on preparation, glad to see Gronk back at practice

Tom Brady isn't looking to reinvent the wheel with the clocking ticking down until the New England Patriots face their biggest test of the season against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII next Sunday.

As any properly-trained Patriot would, Brady said Saturday that he isn't taking the Eagles lightly, but New England's four-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback conveyed that the team's most important focus is on itself.

Simply put, Brady just wants the Patriots to be the best team they can be.

"I think after 18 games, it's hard to reinvent your entire team in two weeks, and for what reason would that be? I think they have their strengths, we have ours," Brady said in his weekly meeting with reporters in Foxborough, Mass. "It's going to come down to who plays the best, and that starts with being who's the most prepared. There's a lot of time to prepare still (and I think we should) use that time wisely." 

RELATED: Check out a recap of the New England Patriots season this year:

New England Patriots 2017-18 season recap
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New England Patriots 2017-18 season recap

Week 1: Patriots 27, Chiefs 42

(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Week 2: Patriots 36, Saints 20

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Week 3: Patriots 36, Texans 33

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Week 4: Patriots 30, Panthers 33

(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Week 5: Patriots 19, Buccaneers 14

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Week 6: Patriots 24, Jets 17

(Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Week 7: Patriots 23, Falcons 7

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Week 8: Patriots 21, Chargers 13

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Week 9: Bye

(Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Week 10: Patriots 41, Broncos 16

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Week 11: Patriots 33, Raiders 8

(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Week 12: Patriots 35, Dolphins 17

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Week 13: Patriots 23, Bills 3

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Week 14: Patriots 20, Dolphins 27

(Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Week 15: Patriots 27, Steelers 24

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 

Week 16: Patriots 37, Bills 16

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Week 17: Patriots 26, Jets 6

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Wild Card round: Bye

(Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Divisional Round: Patriots 35, Titans 14

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Championship Round: Patriots 24, Jaguars 20

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)



A big part of the Patriots' off-week preparation has been getting healthy, and they got some good news on the injury front when star tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to the practice field Saturday after suffering a concussion in last weekend's AFC Championship Game.

Gronkowski missed the entire week of practice and still hasn't officially cleared the NFL's concussion protocol, but his presence alone was enough to bring a smile to the faces of Brady and his teammates.

"I think he's got a great personality and a great way about him," Brady said of Gronkowski. "He definitely has a joyfulness to him and he brings that to the team, and it's just a great attribute of his. It always has been since he got here."

The Patriots won the Super Bowl without Gronkowski just last year, but his absence against an Eagles defense that ranked fourth in total defense (306.5 yards per game) and points allowed (18.4) this season would make winning much more difficult.

Difficult, but not impossible.

"They've got a great defense, as good as we faced all year," Brady said. .".. They've been playing well all year, and that's why they're in this game -- and that's why we're in this game. It's going to be a great game."

--Field Level Media

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