Tom Brady appeared to be in midseason form in the Patriots' second preseason game last week against the Eagles, tossing two touchdowns on 19-of-26 passing. Despite the impressive performance, Brady says there's still plenty of work to do.

"You’ve got to take the preseason games for what they are," Brady told WEEI's "Kirk & Callahan. "It’s a step in the preparation. It goes along with a lot of the other things we’re doing. We haven’t added any joint practices this year, so kind of being in these competitive situations –– if you haven’t been in those in a long time, and I haven’t, since the Super Bowl –– you always feel a little bit rusty.”

Despite turning 41 three weeks ago, Brady remains ultra-competitive, and motivated to win each time he steps on the field.

“I really enjoy the competition,” said Brady. "I’ve always thought the approach was being my very best. My motivation comes from not letting my teammates down. I know how much people put into it — our coaches, teammates — to have a successful season. We work year-round for it. I don’t want to be the reason for why we aren’t successful."

Brady realizes he and the Patriots have their detractors. The quarterback says if you can't come to grips with that as a professional athlete, "you’re in the wrong profession."

“Most Americans that live in other parts of the country, they don’t like the Patriots. They don’t like me, and I can understand that,” said Brady. “I was a 49ers fan at one point. They want to see their team win, and when they don’t, they’ve got to direct their frustration. When you’ve been successful like our team has been, frustration gets directed at us, and that’s just part of it. You have to understand that’s what you’re getting into.”