FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady addressed the media this morning after the team’s walk through. There were a lot of questions on Chad Ochocinco, who was on the field this morning, though not wearing a jersey as the deal is not yet fully completed. He spent some time talking to Brady and got cheers from the crowd when he came onto the field.
More from Brady in a bit.
On Chad Ochocinco and his relationship with him previously: I’ve known Chad for a long time. I’ve watched him for a long time and he brings a lot of energy to the team. We’re looking forward to everyone being out here and trying to get better, trying to see what we can make of this year.
On what Ochocinco can bring to the Patriots: He’s been a very prolific receiver. I think he’s had a bunch of production over the years, and hopefully he can come in here and find a role on this team, as we’re all trying to do. We’re all trying to come out here and see what we can make of this year, see what kind of role he can make for himself.
On integrating Ochocinco into the team: I don’t know. This is the first time I had a chance to be with him on the field. I know he’s excited. I talked to him earlier, he’s excited to be out here and he’s excited to be a part of a new team. Like I said, everyone’s really searching for a role for themselves, and we’re all trying to establish a role for ourselves, Chad, myself, Wes [Welker], Deion [Branch], all of us are trying to figure out what we can do to help this team win.
On Ochocinco as a receiver: I’ve watched him play over the years, I remember I met him at the Pro Bowl a long time ago. He’s just fun to be around. He loves football and I think that’s why guys do well here, because they love the game, they love to compete. They show up and they want to win. I think to be a good player on this team, you have to be able to put the team first. The Troy Browns and the Tedy Bruschis and the Rodney Harrisons, those guys have always set a great example and it’s the example that I learned from over the years. So that’s really what the veteran players have always tried to do here.
On a hit by Albert Haynesworth in the preseason in 2009: I saw him this morning, I said, “I still haven’t forgiven you for that.” He said, god, I’ve got a lot of friends up here and they’ve all given him a lot of grief over the years. He’s a big guy and there’s a lot of competition at the D-line position. And Chad’s in the same situation, hopefully. He can come in and fill a role and be a big part of the success of this team. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do.
Click the full entry button for more of Brady’s responses.
On whether there’s an environment in New England that helps players with checkered pasts: I think Coach Belichick sets an expectation for everybody. He doesn’t treat me any different than he treats a rookie who’s coming out here for his second day of practice. I think he has expectations that every time he walks in the door he has four things listed and every time we walk out he has four things listed. The most important one is doing our job. So when I come in, it’s actually pretty easy. I follow the game plan that he puts up there. And I think for each guy that comes in, they have to do the same thing. It’s not, hey, Tom’s got a different set of rules and Wes has a different set of rules. Everyone has the same set of rules.
On whether players coming in from the outside have to conform to the rules here: No, I don’t think that I’ve ever had to do that. I think I just had to show up. Look, I try to be a good leader and a good example on this team, just like everyone else does. Coach Belichick’s the coach and we have great coaches. He expects us to come out and play and worry about ourselves. I just need to play quarterback.
On Belichick fostering that environment: I love it. That’s what makes him such a great coach is that he has enough credibility with all the guys that when he says something it pretty much comes true. I think that he’s been around for quite a while and that he knows how to get the team all on the same page doing the right thing.
On getting back into the swing of things: I think we’re all excited to be playing football again. We had a good day yesterday, as coach always says, we’ve got to string them together. It’s a long process, it’s a long season, it’s a long camp. Coach talks about having a real short term focus, and I think there’s quite a few young players, new players, veteran players that all need to get on the same page. That’s what we’re working to do.
On how much harder this will be than last year to get everyone on the same page: I don’t think anybody knows at this point. We’re trying to focus on what we can really control, which is, I know there’s been a lot of new rules put in place and everyone’s really trying to get adjusted to the rules and come out here and have good practices. So for the time that we’re out here, we ran a lot of plays yesterday, we’re going to run a lot of plays today, a lot of plays tomorrow. We’re just going to try to come out here and execute them and learn from them and go in there and make the corrections, so we can be a better football team at the end of the day than when we started.
On whether it’s rewarding to see the outcome of the lockout: You know, I think that I’m just glad that we’re back here playing. I haven’t thought too much about, ah, it’s over. It feels like football season to me. It feels like training camp to me. It feels like we have a lot of work to do. The reward for all of us is doing something that we love to do. I think all of us players, all of us coaches, we love doing this, we love playing, we love being out here, we love being with our teammates, and that’s the greatest part about being here at Foxborough Stadium.
More on Ochocinco: It was just a walk through, so there’s a lot for all of us to learn, there’s a lot of new players, there’s a lot of rookies who haven’t been fortunate to have an offseason where they can come in and learn at their pace. Everyone’s being pretty much forced into trying to get up to speed with a pretty complicated offense that we have. We’re all trying to get to know each other. The only way that we’re going to get better is to come out here and practice, so it’s nice to be on the field. … I’m always excited to get great players. We’re all trying to, like I said earlier, we’re all trying to find our role. Guys are trying to find a role, the rookies are trying to find a role. The only way that we’re going to have a successful year is if we’re out on the field practicing and executing at a high level.