The Patriots may have some growing pains as they seek to replace Hernandez on the field, as well as other players such as Wes Welker (signed with Denver) and Rob Gronkowski (injured). But Brady said he welcomed that, and added that redefining the “Patriot Way” is now a priority for him.
“We need to reestablish what we’re all about,” he said. “That’s to win games.”
Brady frequently mentioned that he needs to be able to trust his teammates. He was asked if Hernandez was someone he could trust, but quickly said he could not answer that question. Instead, he tried to paint a picture of the ideal teammate he wants to be able to count on.
“I try never to be a distraction,” he said. “I think I owe that to my teammates — to never be a person that someone has to comment on.
“That’s the best example you can set. You hope the other guys can follow along.”
Being able to trust his teammates allows him to be a better player, Brady said.
“The best teammates I ever had, guys like Wes [Welker] or Deion Branch, I never had to worry about,” he said.
Brady did not name Hernandez or any other players who didn’t fit that mold, but said Wilfork was an example of a player he never needs to worry about.
“Everyone is ultimately accountable for their own decision-making,” Brady said.
“I’m certainly accountable to a lot of people here, my family and to the community because I understand the role model I am. I try to go out and represent this organization the best way I know how.”
Ben Volin and Michael Vega of the Globe staff contributed to this report.