Brady dispelled that notion on Thursday in an interview on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan program.
"Those aren't my demands. I want us to field as competitive a team as we possibly can and I have all the trust in the world that Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft] and coach Belichick do that. I'm not general manager, I can't say 'I do this, you do this,'" Brady said. "I think we are going to field a competitive team."
However, when Welker left in March to join the Broncos and the Patriots signed Danny Amendola to replace him at slot receiver, comparisons between the two became inevitable. Brady thinks those comparisons are unfair.
"They are similar positions, they're about the same height, they've both got very good ability. Wes was so productive for so long, I think it's unfair to compare anyone to Wes and what he was able to accomplish in his time here," Brady said. "Danny has been fun to work with. He's come in with an open mind and an understanding of the way we need to play."
Brady also said he was not surprised to find out Welker would be leaving the Patriots. After six seasons in New England, Welker signed a two-year deal to join the Broncos in March.
"I don't think anything surprises me anymore in the NFL," Brady said. "I've been around long enough to see different things happen at different times with the greatest players of all, whether that's Wes, or Randy Moss being traded from the Raiders, or Brett Favre playing for the Jets and Vikings. That's what happens."
Brady remains close friends with Welker, but wouldn't say if he was angry the Patriots let Welker leave as a free agent.
"Of course I have feelings, but those feelings are very personal to me. I used to get caught up in anger and frustration and disappointment, but I don't make the decisions. These things aren't up to me," Brady said.
Brady has spent his offseason working with throwing coach Tom House and has been seen at several high-profile events, including the Kentucky Derby. A now-famous video shows Brady and friends gleefully celebrating a victory by Orb. He explained why he was so pleased with the race's outcome.
"We went down with a friend of ours who was an owner of the horse, so we kind of had a rooting interest, and we had a rooting interest for several months. So it's kind of like we were very much a fan, and I haven't had that experience in a very long time where you're just very happy that someone else won. I was, I would say, overjoyed," Brady said.
According to Wednesday's NFL transaction wire, the Patriots have claimed offensive tackle Kevin Haslam off waivers from the Chargers.
Not surprisingly, Haslam played at Rutgers.
Haslam is listed at 6 feet 5 inches, 304 pounds. He played in five games with San Diego last season. He entered the league in 2010 as an undrafted rookie, signing with Jacksonville. He played five games with the Jaguars but missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury.
To make room for Haslam, the Patriots waived tackle R.J. Mattes.
Forbes magazine has published its annual list of the highest-earning coaches in US professional sports, and after spending the last two years at the top of the pack, the Patriots' Bill Belichick is now second to Saints head coach Sean Payton.
Payton's five-year contract signed earlier this year pays him an estimated $8 million per year. Belichick earns $7.5 million annually, which was tops in the NFL for the previous three years.
After being fired by the Eagles, Andy Reid was hired by the Chiefs and got a raise to boot: He was to make $6 million in 2013 if he had remained in Philadelphia, but Forbes wrote that Reid's deal in Kansas City will pay him "at least" $7.5 million a year.
Chip Kelly, Reid's successor with the Eagles, received a five-year, $32.5 million contract and has yet to coach an NFL game.
Eight of the 10 coaches on the list are in charge of NFL teams, interesting given that of the four major sports, football players have the lowest average salary.
The Celtics' Doc Rivers is one of four coaches making $7 million.
Here's the list:
Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints, $8 million per year
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, $7.5 million
Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs, $7.5 million
Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks, $7 million
Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams, $7 million
Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics, $7 million
Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins, $7 million
Tom Coughlin, New York Giants, $6.67 million
Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles, $6.5 million
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs, $6 million
Shalise Manza Young and Zuri Berry give an overview after the second day of Patriots OTAs. Also, an interview with Danny Amendola.
FOXBOROUGH -- The new face of the Patriots receiving corps has his hands full with the team's playbook -- a complex system by NFL standards of shifting routes, adjustments, and an ever-changing vocabulary.
But Danny Amendola, signed as a free agent in mid-March from the St. Louis Rams, is doing his best to get a jump on the difficulties of playing in New England by joining Tom Brady at the hip.
The new receiver got some extra one-on-one work with Brady in the team's second practice during organized team activities Tuesday. He had previously spent time with Brady working out together at Southern Cal.
"He's a really good quarterback, everybody knows that," Amendola said. "You know, just trying to get on the same page. So far, so good."
Amendola got one of those "welcome to New England" moments Tuesday when Brady fired a pass right into his chest. That's when he knew he was playing with a top-notch quarterback.
"Just inside my head, I was just like, 'Wow, this guy can really bring it.' That's why he's Tom Brady."
The more work, the better. The Patriots are banking on Amendola to replace the venerable and durable Wes Welker, who departed for Denver the same day the Patriots signed Amendola.
"Any time you get a jump, you get to work with each other, it's good," he said. "We're getting a lot of good work in now, it's good."
Amendola is still getting used to Gillette Stadium, admitting that he's gotten lost in the building a few times. But he's happy he's here and he has a bit of a leg up on the other new receivers because of his time with Brady and his time with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in St. Louis.
"When Josh was in St. Louis, I got to know [the plays] pretty good," Amendola said. "It's a little more intricate out here, and it's something to grasp. I'm learning every day."
He points to the vocabulary as the most important part of his learning process.
"It's the verbiage," he said. "It's everything. That's the most important thing, you know, the vocabulary of the offense. I'm learning day in, day out. And studying at night and everything. It's a process. It's the second day, so I'm looking forward to the next practice and getting ready for that."
FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib spoke to the media after practice Tuesday for the first time since re-signing with the team in March on a one-year deal for a reported $4.8 million.
But talking about where he might have ended up through the free agency process, whether it was back in New England or elsewhere, was something he did not want to do.
"Man, I just let it play how it play," Talib said. "I just let it play how it play. I wanted to be back, I'm back. I'm happy I'm here. I'm ready to get to work."
Why did he want to come back?
"It's a great organization, you know," he said. "Great team, great teammates."
Talib wore double shirts under his practice jersey to soak up the heat on a sizzling day in Foxborough, trying to get a good sweat going. That's what OTAs are for, he said.
"We get in good shape, you get the basics of the defense down," Talib said. "Before you start game planning for anybody, you gotta have the basics of your defense down, and that's what we're doing right now.
"It's just a time right now, in uh, what's this month, May? June? Or May … May. It's the time to get in shape. That's all we worried about right now, that's all I'm worried right now. Getting in good shape, the best shape I can be in."
FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots defensive captain Vince Wilfork spoke to the media Tuesday after practice, remarking on the team's second day of organized team activities.
Wilfork noted that this was the time of the year for the Patriots to get to know each other and, more pointedly, to get in shape.
"That's why you have these days," Wilfork said. "Get in, get acquainted with one other. Prepare as a team. I think that's the most important thing, to prepare as a team. And individually, do what you can do to help this team. That's where I'm at.
"Like I said, I'm very excited. Every year it seems like the more and more you play, the more excited you get to come back."
Wilfork was asked about his own condition.
"Hey, I'm in decent shape," Wilfork said, to laughs. "In decent enough shape. But that's why you have these practices, you have OTAs, you have offseason workouts, you have training camps, just to get in shape and get a chance to get acquainted with one another and that's where we at."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft is cautiously optimistic that the infection in Rob Gronkowski’s left forearm has finally cleared and that Monday’s surgery (his fourth) will be the last on the big tight end's arm.
But Gronkowski also may need surgery to repair a disk in his back. Will he be ready for the start of the regular season? Kraft can’t say for certain.
“I hope we have him for the full season," Kraft said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings taking place at the Hyatt Harborside in East Boston. "I know all the fans want that, and I as an owner surely do. We think long-term he still should be great, and we’ll see.”
Gronkowski had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital Monday to replace a metal plate in the left forearm he broke last November and again on Jan. 13. The area had become infected, and Gronkowski wasn't able to proceed with his rehab.
“I’m not a medical person, and things change day to day, but we were told it was as good a report as we could’ve hoped for," said Kraft. "That made me feel good. I’ve learned in the medical area you can’t always predict everything, but it came out positive, and he’s so positive.”
The Patriots are hopeful that the infection has been eradicated and that Gronkowski can soon begin his eight- to 10-week rehab. Kraft last saw Gronkowski Saturday, when the two were joined by 30 past and current players at a football clinic in Newtown, Conn. Gronkowski was active Saturday, running around and throwing passes with the kids, but he was not present at the Patriots offseason workout Tuesday in Foxborough.
FOXBOROUGH – Don't expect to glean any knowledge from the Patriots' second day of organized team activities – the first one that was open to the media for observation.
Tom Brady spent a majority of his first-team reps with Danny Amendola as his slot receiver, as expected, but continued the day with a rotating cast as his other options, including free agent signees Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins, as well as rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce.
Brady worked one-on-one with Amendola and Jenkins while the rest of the team was focused on special teams drills.
Of the notable players, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman were missing from the OTA practice, as expected. Veterans Brandon Spikes and Brandon Bolden were also missing from the voluntary practice.Bolden's absence was precautionary, a source told the Globe's Shalise Manza Young. He suffered an ankle sprain while training and is expected to return to the field next week.
Adrian Wilson and Lavelle Hawkins were not spotted on the field, although players were not wearing numbers on their practice shirts.
Others took turns riding a stationary bicycle. Tight end Jake Ballard, who missed all of 2012 after tearing his ACL in Super Bowl XLVI as a member of the Giants, needed to be stretched out after cramping up during the drills.
The highlight of the practice was second-year linebacker Dont'a Hightower picking off backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett appeared to be rusty through the day's drills.
Rookie Aaron Dobson snatched a Brady pass out of the air between two defenders, making his mark on the field. He followed up with another dazzling sliding catch later on.
We'll have quotes from Vince Wilfork, Aqib Talib and Danny Amendola on the blog shortly.
But Giants owner John Mara has a message for critics of the plan to push back the NFL Draft to May and stretch out the offseason activities over a longer period of time: Chill out.
“It changes the way we’ve been doing things for years, but I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Mara said Tuesday morning at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel in East Boston, where the NFL’s owners are meeting to vote on the sites of Super Bowl 50 and 51. “Every time you change anything, certain coaches and other football people think it’s the end of the world. But you know what? They always manage to adapt.”
Bruschi was voted in by fans in his first year of eligibility. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame earlier this month.
"It’s a great day for me," Bruschi said. "My family is very excited. Mr. Kraft called me on the phone last night and gave me the news. He told me that he was very proud for me to be in the Patriots Hall of Fame. I am very proud to play for only one organization for my entire career."
Bruschi played 13 seasons, all with in New England, where fans exaggerated his name – "Bruuuuuuuschi!!" – in recognition of a big play or when he was introduced.
“We knew when we drafted him in 1996 that ‘Bruschi’ was going to be a fan favorite in New England,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement released by the team. “But, he was so much more than that. During the most successful era in the history of the franchise, Tedy was the heart and soul of the defense and proved to be a champion, both on and off the field."
Bruschi suffered a stroke in 2005, but returned to the NFL and played three more seasons before retiring in 2009. He appeared in 189 games, including five Super Bowls, and recorded 448 tackles, 30.5 sacks and had 12 interceptions.
"I never felt any different than the people who were cheering on the Patriots," said Bruschi on his connections to the fans. "I always felt that New England Patriots fans did their work and got their work done and when they have free time, they like to cheer on their favorite teams. I feel like that’s who I am also. A good family man cheering on my local team. I think that’s why I related so much to them."
Bruschi recalled his first thoughts when he found out he had been drafted by the Patriots in 1996.
"I wanted to do everything that I could to stay with the Patriots my entire career," Bruschi said. "To be able to look back and say that I stayed with an organization and built something special with them is something I'm very proud of."
Bruschi will be inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame along with broadcaster Gil Santos at a ceremony Aug. 11 and he will also be honored at halftime of the Patriots' home opener Sept. 12 vs. the Jets.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had a fourth surgery Monday to help repair the left forearm that he broke twice in the 2012 season, a league source confirmed to the Globe.
The surgery took place Monday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital and was performed by Dr. Jesse Jupiter, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and upper-extremity injuries.
The surgery Monday was to replace the plate in Gronkowski's forearm, after he developed an infection in the area. Assuming the infection has completely cleared -- and that appears to be the case, the source said -- Gronkowski can then begin his 8- to 10-week rehab to repair the break, which could affect his availability for the start of training camp in late July.
A fifth surgery on the arm appears unlikely at this point, according to the source.
Gronkowski originally broke his forearm last Nov. 18, returned to action Dec. 30 in Week 17, and re-broke the bone Jan. 13 against Houston in the divisional playoffs.
And it may not be the last time Gronkowski goes under the knife this offseason. He may also need surgery to repair a disk in his back, but that would likely take place during his recovery from forearm surgery, and likely wouldn't force him to miss much, if any, training camp.
I'm Ben Volin, the Globe's new national NFL writer and the guy charged with the tough task of having to replace Greg Bedard, who as you know did fantastic work for the Globe the last few years.
I'm new to the Boston area, but maybe not to you folks reading the blog. I come to the Globe after spending the last eight years at the Palm Beach Post, including the last three as their Dolphins writer. I also "red-shirted" on the Dolphins beat in 2007-08, so I've seen plenty of Patriots-Dolphins games over the years – the Patriots' multitude of blowout wins, and the Dolphins' "Wildcat" win at Gillette in 2008.
Quick bio: Grew up in Montgomery County, Md., graduated from Emory University in 2004 and got an MBA from the University of Florida in 2010. I joined the Post in 2005, and from 2008-10 I covered Tim Tebow – er, the Florida Gators. So I know what it's like to cover a championship football team with a transcendent coach/QB combo.
I hope to provide to you what Greg did the last three years: Detailed, unbiased insight and analysis to the Patriots and the NFL at large. Those who read my work at the Post know I like to crunch numbers and break down game film with still photos, and you can expect much of the same now that I'm at the Globe.
Tom Brady is entering his 14 season in the NFL, but the 36-year-old Patriots quarterback told SI's Peter King over the weekend that despite his age he's more sure of his abilities than ever.
"Going into my 14th year, I have never had more confidence in how I am throwing the football," Brady said. "I've never felt better throwing the football."
Brady's former throwing coach, Tom Martinez, died 15 months ago, but Brady signed on with former major league baseball pitcher Tom House, who has taken over the job of honing Brady's throwing technique. Here's a passage from the King interview:
"I found Tom House, and really developed a rapport with him quickly. I've learned, and to me, the learning process is fun. The same way Tom Martinez was always there to watch and give me corrections, Tom House has told me why certain corrections need to be made. Look at a baseball swing and a golf swing. It's all mechanics. Look at how Barry Bonds swings. Look at how Floyd Mayweather punches. Mechanics. When you've got to fit it into the tightest windows, mechanics are crucial. And to me, the offseason is crucial. If you make a throw within four feet, that's not going to be good enough. You have to make the throw within four inches of your target. That's good enough. And that's why the mechanics you adjust and learn in the offseason are important. You're going to keep them during the season.
"Tom House, pretty soon after the season, said basically, 'All right, Tommy. Get to work.' That's the one thing that helps me move forward. There's nothing we can do about losing the championship game to the Ravens. It sucks. You move on. But, with Tom, I think I've learned some things this offseason that are really going to help me.''
Asked to specifically identify an area of improvement, Brady said, "Well ... I hate to ... well done is better than well said. I'd rather not say. I want people to watch and see if they notice."
The Patriots have announced that second-round pick Jamie Collins, who was the first player the team drafted this year after trading out of the first round, has signed his contract.
Under the rookie salary slotting system, as the 52nd overall pick Collins' deal has a total value of around $3.76 million, with a signing bonus of $1.1 million.
The 23-year old Collins, listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, moved from safety to linebacker to 4-3 defensive end during his time at Southern Mississippi, and his play caught teams' eyes even as the Golden Eagles plodded through a winless season last fall.
Collins is the fourth of New England's seven draft picks to sign.
The world turned upside down on Kyle Love Wednesday. Within the span of a few weeks, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and then waived by the New England Patriots, his medical status seemingly a prop used to dispose of the veteran defensive tackle.
While Love had a fairly successful run with the Patriots – he was an undrafted free agent who started 25 of 41 games in New England – he was most certainly not in the team's plans going forward. After beginning the 2012 season with 11 straight starts at defensive tackle, he worked as a substitute for the team's remaining seven games partly because of a knee injury.
At the time, Love's injury wasn't considered to be serious despite being labeled as "questionable" for five straight weeks. He was most notably taken out during passing downs and was supplanted by Brandon Deaderick on others. Deaderick, who was cut by the team on Monday, will join him in Jacksonville after both were claimed by the Jaguars.FULL ENTRY
Now there are three. The Patriots and Steve Beauharnais have finalized a contract for the linebacker.
The Patriots' final draft pick (235th overall), the Rutgers product is listed at 6 feet 1 inch, 240 pounds.
New England drafted three Scarlet Knights -- Beauharnais, Logan Ryan, and Duron Harmon -- and all three are now under contract.
Kyle Love was not unemployed for long. The former Patriots defensive tackle was claimed by the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday.
Love was released by the Patriots Wednesday with a non-football illness designation; he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the last two weeks.
Jacksonville also had claimed defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick, who was released by New England Monday.
The Patriots have one more draft pick signed: cornerback Logan Ryan.
Ryan was drafted 83d overall, the first of the three Rutgers players New England selected. His signing was announced by his agents on Twitter.
The rookie contracts post-CBA are fairly cut-and-dried, so they should all be done pretty quickly.
The Patriots have released defensive tackle Kyle Love, using the non-football illness designation.
Love was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes within the past two weeks, and as he was dealing with the illness, he was unable to take part in the team's offseason workout program. Love had a $100,000 workout bonus in his contract.
Listed at 6 feet 1 inch, 310 pounds, Love had dropped a significant amount of weight -- it is believed he was down to around 280 -- in a short time, which went unexplained at the time.
"I'm somewhat surprised," agent Richard Kopelman said. "I know the Patriots run a tight ship, but I'm a little surprised. But they were not willing to take any risk.
"Kyle is going to be at 100 percent within a matter of weeks. Barring something out of the ordinary, he should be ready to go for training camp, and he'll continue to be successful."
Kopelman noted that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler plays with Type 1 diabetes, and former Steeler Kendall Simmons played with Type 2.
Love was undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2010 but quickly earned a spot in the defensive line rotation, playing in nine games as a rookie. He played in all 16 games in each of the past two seasons, with 24 combined starts.
He was slowed by a knee injury in the latter weeks of the season but did not miss a game. Love was credited with 40 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one quarterback hit during the regular season.