Tom Brady once said that his mother thinks he’s “very fast,” but the Patriots quarterback plainly acknowledged that his speed has always been a “weakness” in a Monday interview.
Speaking on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan,” Brady opened his weekly call-in with discussion about reaching 1,000 career rushing yards. When asked about his milestone – and the hoopla surrounding it – Brady was understated.
“Pretty funny,” said the 41-year-old quarterback. Still, he elaborated on how he’s viewed his running ability in the scope of his career.
“For athletes, it’s one thing to have strengths, and it’s another to have weaknesses, and I’d say since I was a kid, that’s always been a weakness,” Brady noted. More than purely helping the team move the ball, Brady explained how a timely scramble can be a psychological weapon.
“Using good judgement and making a couple of yards when I can is always good for the team,” Brady said. “I like doing it because I think it in some ways discourages the defense, because the last thing they were counting on was for me to do that. When we’re able to make a play on it, the defense is definitely not counting on that. They’re not working on scramble drills for [me].”
Reacting to the Kareem Hunt news
After video emerged of running back Kareem Hunt shoving and kicking a woman (in an incident that took place in Cleveland in February), the Chiefs released the 23-year-old.
Brady said that the Patriots discuss the ongoing prevalence of domestic abuse in the NFL.
“We do talk a lot about [those] types of things,” said Brady. “Coach Belichick does a great job talking to us about things that happen and the consequences that come with actions. I mean that’s been something that we’ve been talking about for a while now. I think there’s just such zero tolerance not only in football but in society for things like that. You hate to see it. It can derail some really encouraging, positive things that are happening in people’s lives.”
Asked if he worries about Patriots teammates, Brady alluded to the reality of recent Patriots history.
“We have dealt with our own fair share of crazy things that you would never expect,” said Brady.
“We talk about a lot of things over the course of the year, a lot of societal issues that have been addressed with our team and the league,” Brady continued. “I don’t think we’re necessarily immune to those things, but the league tries to create a lot of awareness and it’s just personal choices. We’re all accountable to our choices.
Dealing with Bill Belichick’s criticism
An incident that captured the attention of television viewers during Sunday’s Patriots-Vikings game came when Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen got into a sideline shouting match with Bill Belichick. Belichick had choice words for Thielen.
Brady was amused by the incident.
“I’ve been on the other end of that a few times in my career,” Brady said of Belichick, “that’s pretty funny.”
Still, Brady noted that he doesn’t go back at Belichick when he’s “on the other end” of criticism from his coach.
“No, I kind of laugh,” Brady explained. “It’s competitive out there. It’s very feisty and everyone’s emotions are on their sleeves. [He] says something and there’s just an emotional reaction. But that was pretty funny.”
Looking back on his time with the Patriots, Brady highlighted a few former Patriots (and one current player) who have shown the guts to go toe-to-toe with their coach.
“[Vrabel] was pretty good, [Matt] Light was pretty good, Junior Seau was pretty good,” Brady listed. “You know the guys that tend to not give a you-know-what were the best ones with him. Julian’s pretty good now. Julian’s quick to go back at him now.”
Playing golf with a pair of presidents
The last topic Brady was asked about was the recent death of former President George H. W. Bush. Specifically, Brady offered a story about the time he was invited to go up to Maine to play golf with multiple former presidents:
That was a great experience for me. I got invited up there in 2006 to Kennebunkport in the summer. It was during OTAs, and I asked Coach Belichick if I could go and he allowed me to miss a day of practice. I flew up there and landed on their property and played golf with President Clinton and President Bush and Jim Nantz, who’s a really good friend of President Bush’s. He had a putting green right outside of his house and we went out on his boat. He was kind of captaining his boat, and I got a chance to have dinner with Presidents Clinton and Bush. We played golf the next day.
For Brady, it was a moment he won’t forget.
“I was so young at the time. I didn’t have the kind of perspective that I have now, and we played cards at night. It was just very cool. It was a fun round of golf.”
“President Clinton took the golf much more seriously than President Bush,” Brady continued. “We had secret service following us around the golf course. It was very unique experience. And I’ve always kept in touch. When we’ve gone to Houston, he’s gone to games and I’ve stopped outside the locker room and seen him a few times. He was such a big sports fan. It was just really cool to get a chance to know him. Certainly he’s in a more restful place now.”
His strongest memory from the golf was the particular golf style of Clinton. Brady described that the round didn’t simply go a standard amount of time.
“Not with President Clinton,” said Brady. “There were a lot of balls flying all over the place.”
“When you play a round of golf, and I’ve played with some guys where there’s a lot of course etiquette,” Brady explained. “Not with President Clinton. If he wanted to hit five balls, he hit five balls. If you were walking in front of him, he’d have balls flying over the top of your head. I remember on the 18th hole, President Bush was standing on the green and there’s a ball that just buzzes by him and he looks around, turns back, and President Clinton is behind us.”