Q: What do you tend to focus on during this five week period? You mentioned some of the things that different guys might work on, but what about you? What do you spend your time focusing on?
Brady: It’s a lot of football activity and I think at this point your conditioning and your strength is where it’s at. For me it’s a lot of drops, a lot of throws and working on footwork and being better mechanically. That’s all you can really work on when we don’t have any practices. I love to work on my technique and my mechanics, so it actually gives me a lot of time to focus on that.
Q: How are you adjusting [without mentor Tom Martinez around]?
Brady: I had a great level of comfort with Tom over the years and he was always someone I could call on to rely on him, but I know he’s watching down with every throw and I hear his voice in the back of my head after every throw. Throwing the football is about mechanics. There’s nothing special, it’s just a matter of doing it the right way and the better mechanically you are, the more accurate you’re going to be able to throw the football. When you’re not accurate, there’s a reason for it. It’s not like, ‘Hey, you just have to throw the ball more accurately.’ There’s a reason, what are you doing? So I’m constantly evaluating every throw. I watch every throw in practice, every rep that I take in practice I have someone film and I watch it after practice. I just make sure that I’m continuing to work on the right things because ultimately when you’re under pressure, your body is going to revert to what it knows. Muscle memory is a very important thing for a quarterback and hopefully you train your muscles to react the way you need them to react when the pressure is on the most. That allows you to throw the ball with velocity and accuracy and the tougher the games get, the closer the coverage is and the more accurate you need to be.
Q: Have you thought about what you’ll do if you go into a slump where you feel like your mechanics are a little off during the regular season? I’m sure normally you would talk to Tom Martinez about that.
Brady: I’ve got to rely on what he’s taught me over the years. I’ve got a lot of stuff written down, of things that we talked about and things that I’ve learned. I have a great understanding mechanically of what I need to be able to do, it’s just a matter of seeing it and being able to correct it. Hopefully you can correct it between series sometimes because you don’t always have the fortune to wait until Monday to figure things out – sometimes you have to figure them out in the middle of the third quarter. That’s something where I’ll have to rely on everything he’s taught me over the years.
Q: With DeMaurice Smith and George Atallah in the building [today] and now that Matt Light’s retired, do you have any interest in taking on more responsibility with the NFLPA, possibly as a player representative?
Brady: No, I think I really enjoyed my opportunity to be a part of it. We’ve obviously had a lot of issues come up over the last few years and I think the players are very comfortable with the leadership we have and all of the player reps take it very seriously. It’s a different side of the game and a very important side of the game that the players are involved in, but I’ve been very fortunate to see kind of the inner workings over the last few years and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Q: What are your thoughts on Chad Ochocinco’s release and why things didn’t work out?
Brady: There’s always a lot of player movement. I loved being with Chad, he’s a good friend and a great competitor and I enjoyed my chance with him and my opportunity to play with him, but I don’t make any personnel decisions and as a player you’ve just got to deal with what happens and try to be the best quarterback I can be.
Q: In terms of the receivers you’re throwing to, some of these guys you’ve thrown to forever, like Deion Branch and Wes Welker. Brandon Lloyd is a new one. Does he remind you of anyone and what are your first impressions?
TB: He’s got a unique skill set so it’s going to take some time to get used to things that he does really well. We haven’t had anyone quite like him, so just to understand where he likes the ball placed and how he gets open. He’s a very good player, so we’ve got a lot of work ahead in training camp and we’re going to have to use every single practice and every rep really wisely, because he can be a big part of this offense if we can really get up to speed.
Q: What’s the one thing he might bring that a lot of other guys haven’t? It seems like he can make a lot of plays on the ball when it’s in the air?
Brady: Yeah he does, he’s got great ball skills and great body control. If you get it near him, he’s going to catch it. It’s just a matter of sometimes it doesn’t look like he’s really open and then boom, he springs open on you. So sometimes you think, ‘Oh he’s covered,’ and then you get off him and then you watch the film and you’re like, ‘How did he get open?’ He knows what he’s doing to set the guys up and he makes the move and you have to trust that he’s going to beat the guy and he does. It’s just really a matter of, don’t really let your eyes take away from what he’s doing in his route, because ultimately he’s going to get open at some point.