FOXBORO — Tom Brady shocked the media with a last-minute decision to speak to the media after the Patriots’ sixth training camp practice on Wednesday afternoon. The quarterback turns 42 years old on Saturday and is entering his 20th season in the NFL.
Brady approached this offseason slightly different than in recent years. His main focus was strength training, rather than pliability. He decided it was in his best interest to bulk up a bit.
“Every year has its different challenges, and I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more, and I worked pretty hard at that,” No. 12 said. “It was good, I still realized when I got here that I wanted to be a little more fluid, and get back to the fluidity that I’m used to, too.”
Surprise!!! Tom Brady spoke to the media today.
— Sierra Goodwill (@SierraGoodwill) July 31, 2019
It seems as though Brady acknowledged the fact that he suffered some significant bumps and bruises last season and is trying to become more equipped to take contact.
Another major storyline surrounding the QB is his contract situation. Brady has never entered a season with his deal expiring that same year, so it can be expected that contract negotiations are top of mind for both Brady and the Patriots organization.
“I’ve had such a great experience over a lot of years” the six-time Super Bowl champion said. “I appreciate this team and the opportunity it gave me in 2000. I play for a great coach in Coach [Bill] Belichick, and Josh [McDaniels] and I have a great working relationship. I love Mr. [Robert] Kraft and his family. We’ve had just incredible success. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
While it certainly doesn’t seem like Brady wants to part ways with New England come the end of the season, he remained humble when asked if a year-to-year contract is something that interests him.
“We’re all day-to-day if you think about it” he said. “None of us are really promised anything. I’m trying to do the best I can do today and just let those things sort themselves out.”
Aside from contract discussions, there’s another tall task that Brady faces: replacing Rob Gronkowski.
There’s nothing that No. 12 values more than a reliable target and aside from Julian Edelman, Gronk was about as good as it gets as far as chemistry with the quarterback.
Brady was transparent in saying that it has been a struggle trying to develop that trust and connection with new players in the system.
“To replace great players, it’s not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree. You can’t just go out back. You’ve got to find guys that come in and want to put the work in and want to try and contribute,” Brady said.
Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo and Lance Kendricks are the candidates for the job. Brady said he’s been impressed with their work ethic, but the most important thing is getting them comfortable with the high expectations and level of competition expected each and every day.
TB12 also wasn’t shy in saying the offense has been struggling at training camp so far due to the level of talent on the other side of the ball.
“We’ve got a very good defense this year. Those guys are challenging us every day,” he said. “It’s hard to complete passes on our secondary. That’s just the reality. So, it’s actually great work for our offense to see how we measure up against a very good defense. Days like today are frustrating for us and we’ve got to learn from the corrections and try to come out and have a better day tomorrow.”
As for Brady himself, who didn’t participate in the second day of training camp due to a scheduled day off, he said it’s not going to be a regular occurrence.
“There’s no schedule or anything like that. I’m just trying to take it day-by-day and get out and practice. That’s what football players do.”
The Patriots are right back to work on Thursday morning for Day 7 of training camp.