Tom Brady talks about staying motivated, feeling rusty, and replacing Nate Solder

"My motivation comes from not letting my teammates down."

Tom Brady
Tom Brady looks on before the preseason game against the Washington Redskins. –Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

For Tom Brady, it’s all about the competition. The Patriots quarterback talked about what really motivates him on an interview with WEEI Tuesday morning.

“I really enjoy the competition,’’ said Brady, who called in as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. “I’ve always thought the approach was being my very best. My motivation comes from not letting my teammates down. I know how much people put into it — our coaches, teammates — to have a successful season. We work year-round for it. I don’t want to be the reason for why we aren’t successful.

“It’s about getting the best out of myself, and hopefully that’s good enough on that particular day. If it’s not, then you give the other team credit for doing what they had to do to win. Being in sports you don’t win every game.’’

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Brady was happy to get some playing time in the preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite going 19 of 26 for 172 yards and two touchdowns, he said he felt rusty.

“It was fun being out there. We’ve got a lot of work to do,’’ Brady said. “You’ve got to take the preseason games for what they are. It’s a step in the preparation. It goes along with a lot of the other things we’re doing. We haven’t added any joint practices this year, so kind of being in these competitive situations — if you haven’t been in those in a long time, and I haven’t, since the Super Bowl — you always feel a little bit rusty.’’

Brady also talked about how he deals with criticism of himself and the Patriots.

“I don’t watch TV much. Part of being a professional athlete, you’re dealing with a lot of things, a lot of criticism,’’ said Brady. “Obviously there are people that support you, but you also have a lot of people that cheer for other teams. If you don’t come to grips with that, you’re in the wrong profession.

“Most Americans that live in other parts of the country, they don’t like the Patriots. They don’t like me, and I can understand that,’’ said Brady. “I was a 49ers fan at one point. They want to see their team win, and when they don’t, they’ve got to direct their frustration. When you’ve been successful like our team has been, frustration gets directed at us, and that’s just part of it. You have to understand that’s what you’re getting into.’’

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The Patriots will be making a big adjustment on the field this season with tackle Nate Solder having departed to play for the New York Giants. Brady discussed what it’s like trying to replace the person in charge of protecting his blind side.

“Any time you lose a great player, I don’t think it helps the team at all,’’ said Brady. “Hopefully you can replace that person with someone who can do the job, and someone who brings their own personality to the team. Losing a guy like Nate, that’s a big loss. We all love him, we miss him, and we’ll get to see him in 10 days. But he’ll always be a great friend.’’