FOXBOROUGH – Over time, Tom Brady has seen the best of his teammates go down with injuries.
That history, coupled with his own lost season in 2008, color his perspective when discussing the team's recent spate of injuries, including the loss of defensive captain and linebacker Jerod Mayo this week to a torn pectoral muscle.
Brady was asked about the challenges of dealing with those losses this season, whether it brings added pressure for him, and how the team tries to deal with it all.
"We've faced some different challenges," Brady said. "I think in the NFL a lot of teams face challenges. It's just how do you deal with them? We've lost some guys, dealt with some issues, like every other team. We're handling them OK. We're 5-1, which is a decent start. It doesn't really get you anywhere at this point. I think we're still looking at making improvements. I think what's most important is to try and improve every day in practice and the walkthroughs and ultimately it hopefully translates to better execution over the course of the season. But we're really not where we need to be right now, we're trying to get there.
"Part of my job description, is what it's been for a long time, regardless of who is out there with me or other captains that have gotten injured, different guys that have come and gone – I mean, that happens with every team too. I've just been fortunate to be here and see my way through a lot of it, try to be a good example, be a good leader, and certainly try to play well. That's the No. 1 thing. That's how you probably stick around, is probably play as best as you can. We've been lucky to be here and play in place that I really love to play and for a team I really love to play for.
"When you lose someone like we did with Vince [Wilfork] or Jerod, it's tough. But I'd say a lot of teams deal with it too. So you don't want to feel sorry for yourself. What you realize is someone has got to fill in and do the job. As much as you hate to lose guys, there's nothing you can do about it and the season doesn't end and you gotta keep fighting on. Just as they would want us to, just like they did when I went out, just like they did when guys like Rodney [Harrison] went out. We've lost some pretty key, critical guys over the years. Ty Law got hurt at one point. I mean there's a lot of guys that have been injured. You just gotta try and fill the spot and other guys gotta pick up the slack. Hopefully our execution on offense is better. That would take some pressure off the defense, who have been playing great for us."