Brady: ‘I do whatever I need to do’


Tom Brady just finished up on WEEI, hitting on myriad subjects … from what he’s done to work out when in foreign countries, to how he sees the Patriots’ offseason moves, to his view of the team’s opponents’ strengthening themselves over the last few months.

And we’ll give you all that.

(Update 8:54 a.m.: Here’s the link to the full audio of the interview. And also here’s a link to the charity that Brady’s been drumming up support for, and info on the Best Buddies Challenge that he’s helping run, which this year will include a flag football game at Harvard.)

It’s just going to take some time to go through 20 minutes of tape. So instead of coming up with 30 different posts here, I’m going to start this here, and keep updating it as I transcribe … Here … We … Go …

On life as football player conflicting with being a father:
“There’s a lot to that question. It’s something that’s tough for me, because part of being a great player, and quarterback, and leader is participating. There’s obviously a bit of a conflict when I not able to be here like I once was pretty much for every workout, and now I’m here for significantly less than that. I have a son that lives out in LA and I don’t think I’ll regret spending the time with him. He was born in August of 2007 and I really didn’t get to see him much for the first six months of his life. There’s some months there that are a really important time for me. He’s not gonna remember much of it, but I sure will. I’m still doing what I need to do to be ready, there’s no doubt about that. I’m not here, but it’s not that I’m not working out period. I’m still working out and preparing and I’m always in contact with my teammates and coaches and so forth. And then I do come back and work on throwing the football, working with those guys when I can get back here. It’s not as easy as an hour flight. It’s going from the West Coast to the East Coast, I’ve tried to do it. You can really work out well in both places, it’s hard to do that every week. You’d wear yourself down in the offseason, which is obviously not what you’re trying to do.

On working out abroad: My wife has had to work, whether it was Brazil, where she worked for two weeks, or Paris, it’s actually kind of nice, because I have the whole day to myself. So I’m working out, sometimes three times a day. I’ve never minded working out, thank God for that, because that’s what we do as athletes. So when she’s working all day, it gives me time to do exactly what I need. And I always find that whenever I travel, I do work out. I do whatever I need to do. … Not as much as throwing, that’s the one thing when you travel you can’t do much of, because these little french guys (laughing), I don’t think they know what the hell football is. (Updated: 7:56 a.m.)

On Wes Welker working out with him: “He does whatever he can do. I love being with Wes, Wes is an old throwback. He’s so mentally tough. Physically, he’s tough, to play that position, at his size, and take the hits he does. And he’s a great teammate, everybody he’s played with knows, he works harder than anybody on the team. When you’re faced with what he’s been faced with this offseason … That’s how he’s approached it. It’s really been fun for me to see him and the improvements that he makes on a daily basis, when pretty much I was going through the same thing he’s going through. He’s made me look like I was a year behind schedule. He’s worked really hard. It’s been great for me to see.


On when Welker will return:  “I hope so. The ACL surgery, at this point. you can get pretty good at it. He had a great surgery and great rehabilitation. He works his butt off, he really does. There’s nobody that would ever work harder than Wes rehabbing an injury. Because of that, that always gives you greast confidence in anything he’s doing, because he’s prepared to put the work in. And that’s what rehabiliation’s all about. I can’t sit here and say, ‘This is what week’, because nobody can do that. He doesn’t know that. Nobody knows that. Obviously, when you plan for the season, you plan for everything and we have some great depth at the receiver position now and hopefully Wes is the leader of the pack.” (Updated 8:05 a.m.)

On comments that the team needs to listen to Bill Belichick: “The point is, we do have the best coach, probably in the history of the NFL. He’s got the answers and when he comes in and talks to us on a Monday morning, and says, ‘This is what we need to do to win.’ And then he does that the next Monday morning, talking about the game, and says, ‘Well, I gave you six things, we did one of them.’ Obviously it’s very frustrating for everyone. Me included. There’s games where he says, ‘Listen, this is a turnover-driven team. We can’t have turnovers, because they’re going to capitalize, they’ve done that all season long, they’re plus-12 in turnovers, they’ve scored this many points off of them.’ And of course, I go out there on the first drive and fumble the ball.’ I always include myself. I’m at the top of the list, I have to have a great season in order for our team to be productive, along with everybody else. But the only person I can control is myself. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the way the season ended last year. … We’ve got a tough road ahead like we always do. We’ve got three weeks of practice in June, we’ve got six weeks of practice in July and August to get to the point where we’re ready to play in September. We’ve added plenty of new people, new coaches, like we do every year. Everybody that needs to come together, it takes every single guy on the team. All of us, we need to do a better job of leadership. And I was one of the leaders last year and obviously I sucked at doing that. So I’ve got to do a better job of that, I’ve got to do a better job of playing quarterback. And that’s what I’m prepared to do.” (Updated 8:13 a.m.)

On leadership:
“There’s Rodney Harrison types, there’s Troy Brown types. Guys who just show up to work everyday and put the work in everybody. Larry Izzo, he was a great leader for us. You can never have enough of those guys, really selfless guys. I was talking to Torry Holt, we were talking about some of the Rams teams he played on, and he said, ‘You know, we just had a lot of great guys on the team.’ My comment to him was, I said, ‘To me, that’s the only way.’ Playing with a bunch of guys that you really don’t enjoy spending time with, that doesn’t last very long. Really when it comes down to it, games that we lose in the fourth quarter, games that we lose in the second half, or losing on the road like we did, that could be lack of trust, that could be lack of confidence, there are a lot of issues you have when that repeats itself time and
time again over the course of the season. Coach always used the (phrase) ‘mentally tough’ to us, and I always agreed with him. When the going got tough, we didn’t get going. We weren’t really a mentally tough team last year. I think that’s been a big point of emphasis for coach this offseason. Hopefully, we’ve found ways to address it, with each other, and also with coach bringing in different players to see if they can bringing in a little bit of that to our team.”
(Updated: 8:20 a.m.)

On other teams’ moves: “I love our receiver position with Randy (Moss) and Wes and Julian (Edelman), David Patten, and Brandon Tate, the way he’s been working, he’s had a great offseason thus far. We’ve got a lot of speed at the position, we’ve got a lot of veteran guys that have played and know what it takes, in terms of running routes and getting open and catching the ball and being in the place they need to be. And the tight end group and a veteran group of running backs, our love our offense. I mean, believe me, all these personnel moves other teams are making, our coach, he’s monitoring those as well. It’s not like, ‘Wow, I had no idea that would happen.’ When Santonio Holmes is getting ready to be traded, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that know that. To be (inaudible), good for them, they’re obviously looking for something out of that position, and if we were looking for something out of that position, we’d probably be in the middle of things too. So obviously, our coach feels pretty comfortable with where things are at now.” (Updated: 8:29 a.m.)

On dealing with the entertainment press, and things like the publicity from the aerial shots of the house he has under construction: “It’s kind of the way it is out in LA, that’s what they do. I really wouldn’t worry if they’d gotten some of the stuff right, but they didn’t. That’s just the way it is. It’s just the way it is. I’ve been dealing with it for a while now, and I’m probably much more comfortable dealing with it now than I’ve ever been. It’s less distracting for me. It’s kind of what my wife’s dealt with for longer than I have. You just make your plans based around what you anticipate outside your house. We don’t go out very often anymore and when we do, it’s, ‘OK, this is what we expect.’ And when there’s four cars waiting outside your house, and you gotta get things done, you just do it. I used to be driving 70 MPH down Sunset, trying to get away. But that’s probably not the smartest thing to do. So now I say, ‘Screw it, I’ll deal with it,’ and hopefully it’s not too invasive.” (Updated: 8:35 a.m.)


On worrying what friends might think when they see things (i.e. Brentwood house, celebrity schmoozing, jetsetting) in the press: “It’s hard to worry about a lot of that. I think people who know me, know who I am and what I’m all about. Especially my teammates, and a lot of my friends from growing up, I’m still friends with. I obviously don’t have as much time as I used to and I don’t get home as much as I used to. But my family, I really care about what they think, because those are the people that know me better than anybody, other than my wife. I’ve been blessed with a lot of opportunities in my life, and building a home for my family that hopefully we’re in for a long time — no matter how exaggerated that story is, and it was quite exaggerated — it’s part of what I want to do for myself and my family. And then hanging out with different people (celebrities), I’ve had that opportunity for a long time. I always just look at people as who they are. … I don’t get caught up in a lot of the other stuff.” (Updated: 8:44 a.m.)

On watching the Super Bowl, and feeling for Peyton Manning: “To tell you the truth, I did. And I like Peyton a lot. He’s a guy I’ve watched over the years, and always admired the way he plays. His style of play is very much my style of play, so I can understand what he’s looking at. … Drew had an incredible game. And with the way it en
ded with Peyton, I don’t know what happened between he and Reggie (Wayne) at the end. But I couldn’t imagine that Peyton thought he would just stop running the route either. Reggie’s a great player and obviously there was just a miscommunication between the two of them, which happens when you have little option routes like it looked like they had there. Sometimes one guy thinks one thing, and you throw the other. Of course, when it works great, it looks beautiful. And when it doesn’t work, well, it like anything risk-reward in football. I felt bad, because I never like seeing that happen to a quarterback, because I know how that feels and it feels pretty (blank), especially for it to happen in the Super Bowl.”
(Updated: 8:53 a.m.)

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