Tom Brady speaks out on suspension ruling for the first time on FaceBook

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Like every game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he’s focused on his next opponent. But he doesn’t feel like he’s got a new edge with star quarterback Tom Brady able to play in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Asked Friday how it felt to have Brady back with his four-game “Deflategate” suspension erased, Belichick told reporters: “He never left.”

Brady certainly factored into his team’s celebration plans for the first game of the season, even if its offensive plans stay largely the same.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, the son of team owner Robert Kraft, says the team wouldn’t have gone through with raising its Super Bowl 49 banner if Brady weren’t playing.

Kraft told WBZ-FM on Thursday night before New England played its exhibition finale against the New York Giants that team officials had an alternate, Brady-themed banner ready if Brady’ssuspension was upheld.