Extra Points

Brady’s take

FOXBOROUGH –- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady held a press conference today following the first day of the team’s mandatory offseason minicamp. Here is part of the Q&A:

There are high expectations for this team, but yours probably aren’t any lower…
“I think you realize you have high expectations, but you realize what it takes to get to that level, too. Coach Belichick, I remember a few years ago, it was one of the best speeches he ever gave us. It was before the ’03 AFC championship game when we played the Colts. I don’t know if I ever told the story, but their tight end, [Marcus] Pollard, they had played Kansas City and they had played Denver and I guess they didn’t punt in two games. They were coming to play us and Pollard said after the game ‘the way we’re playing, they’re going to just have to give us the ring.’ Coach Belichick pulled his Super Bowl ring out and said ‘You know what? This is from our ’01 championship and I know what this is all about. No one gave me this. I earned this every step of the way.’ I think the players on this team are ready to earn whatever we get. We’ll see how that turns out. Really, talk is cheap. No matter what anyone says, or what we say, or we think, it doesn’t matter until we go out there and line up and see what we’re made of. I know this, the expectations are high externally, internally — Coach Belichick puts different expectations on us to come to work every day and do your job and be attentive and do your job, and put your team first. Hopefully this team, we establish our identity in that sense.”

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How hard did you push for Randy Moss? There were reports you spoke with him.
“I didn’t talk to Randy much at all. It’s just good to have him here. It’s up to him to really find a role for himself. I’m sure you guys see the things he’s capable of in practice already. I said earlier, I’m just a player like everybody else. Coach Belichick makes those decisions, and Scott [Pioli], and I hear about them. They’re got pretty good judgement. They know what they’re looking for.”

What are your first impressions of Wes Welker?
“Wes has killed us the last few years, with the Dolphins. It’s nice to have him in a Patriot uniform. He has great quickness. He’s very smart. He’s like a Labrador out there. You can throw the ball, he runs and fetches it, runs back, gets to the huddle and looks up and he’s panting with sweat coming down his face. He’s been great to have around. He works extremely hard. He sets a great example. The one thing is that we’ve brought in some veteran players who have some leadership ability and who are really willing to make sacrifices to win. It’s been nice over the years, so many of our guys have left for other teams via free agency, coaches have left, but it’s nice to be able to add some veteran players that are very professional at this point in your career – you show up to work, you know what is expected of you, you’re willing to put that work in, rather than a 22, 21-year-old rookie who you hope brings his playbook to the meeting at the right time. It’s a little bit different in that sense. It’s been fun in offseason workouts thus far. We have three weeks left and we have to finish up strong.”

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