Tom Brady Insists He’s Putting in the Time for the 2010 Season: “I’m still doing what I need to do to be ready, there’s no doubt about that.”

May 13, 2010 – 10:35 am by Michael Bean

You’re more likely to have seen Tom Brady on the cover of a gossip magazine in the supermarket, or on a celebrity focused blog this offseason than you are on a sports publication. That’s the product of being married to one of the world’s most recognizable models and fathering children from other women that he’s now having to be accountable for. I’ll just say this – if you’re a Pats fan, at least a part of you has to be concerned about Brady’s living arrangements. He’s living out in Los Angeles and making the cross country flight to Boston to work out with his teammates every so often. That’s a far cry from being totally immersed in all things football like he was to start his career. If anybody can make it work, it might just be Tom Terrific. But I’d still be concerned about the mental and physical toll that’s going to take as he and the Pats look to rebound from last year’s generally disappointing season.

Brady joined WEEI in Boston on Wednesday for a lengthy 30-minute interview. In it he discusses how he’s feeling physically with training camp about two and a half months away, if it’s tougher for him to be as dedicated to football as he was when he was younger, how he’s able to work out while he travels around the world with Gisele Bundchen, Wes Welker’s rehab and how he wouldn’t count him out for the 2010 season, how he hopes everybody, himself included, is more committed to learning from Coach Belichick, if there was a leadership void in New England last year, what he thinks of the Pats’ roster talent-wise compared to other teams heading into the year, and how he watched the Super Bowl last year to check out Peyton Manning and Drew Brees battle it out.

On how he’s feeling physically as the 2010 NFL season looms ever closer:

I’m feeling great. I think over the years you find different ways to train and get work on your body and so forth. I’m feeling really good. I’m excited. One day that goes by means we’re one day closer to football season, and so I’m pretty happy about that.”

On his new life as a husband and father and if it’s significantly tougher for him to stay as dedicated to football as he once was:

“Yeah, well, there’s kind of  a lot in that question. It’s something that’s tough for me because part of being a great player and quarterback and leader is participating.  And there’s obviously a bit of a conflict when I’m not able to be here like I once was, which was pretty much for every workout. Now, I’m here for, you know, significantly less than that. But like I said, I have a son that lives out in L.A., 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 much of him for the first six months of his life, so there’s some months there in the offseason that are really important times for me, especially … he’s not going to 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 working, but it’s not like I’m not working out period. I’m still working out and preparing and always in contact with my coaches and teammates and so forth. And then I do come back and work on throwing the football with Wes, and working out with those guys whenever I can get back here. It’s not as easy as an hour flight, you know? I mean it’s going from the west coast to the east coast. But I try to do it so…You can work out well in both places, it’s hard to do that every week because you’d wear yourself down in the offseason, which is obviously what you’re not trying to do.”

On how he’s able to get his workouts in when he’s so frequently traveling with his jet-setting supermodel wife:

“You know, the times my wife had to work this offseason, whether it was Brazil for a few weeks, or Paris. It’s actually pretty nice because I have the whole day to myself. So I’m working out two times, sometimes three times a day. I’ve never minded working out, thank God for that, because it’s what we do as athletes. So when she’s working all day, it actually gives me the time to do exactly what I need. I always find that whenever I travel, I do work out. You know, I do what I need to do and there’s plenty for me to do, and I’m always finding some way to do it.”

On if he just finds someone to throw the football two amongst the masses in Paris:

“Not as much throwing. That’s the one thing you can’t do as much of, because these little French guys, I don’t think they know what the hell football is.”

On how he and Welker have worked together considering Welker’s injury status – does he run around, or just try to catch passes from Brady more or less being stationary and limited with his movement:

“He does a little of both. He does what ever 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, to take the hits that he’s taken. And he’s a great teammate. Everyone who’s ever played with him, I mean, he works harder than anyone on the team. So, when you’re faced with what he’s been faced with this offseason, it’s been pretty much, that’s how he’s approached it. It’s really been fun for me to see him and the improvements he makes on a daily basis, when I was pretty much going through the same thing he was going through. He’s made me look like I was a year behind schedule. He’s worked really hard and it’s great for me to see.”

On if he thinks he and Welker will play together in 2010:

“I don’t know. I mean, the ACL surgery at this point, it’s like you can get pretty good at it. He’s had a great surgery and great rehabilitation. He’s worked his butt off. There’s nobody that would ever work harder than Wes at rehabbing an injury. And because of that, that always gives you great confidence in anything he’s doing, because he’s prepared to put the work in and that’s what rehabilitation is all about. I can’t sit here and say ‘This is what’s going to be,’ because nobody can do that. He can’t do that. Nobody knows that. Obviously when you plan for the season I think you plan for everything. We have some great depth at the receiver position now and hopefully, Wes is right in there as the leader of the pack.”

On his recent comments to Peter King that one of the problems with last year’s team was some guys didn’t listen to Coach Belichick, and if it was in fact a case of guys flat out ignoring their coach as they went about things their own way:

“Well I don’t know if I would put it exactly that way. Regardless of what I said, I think 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 comes back the next Monday morning and we lost the game and says, ‘I gave you six things and we did one of them,’ obviously, it’s very frustrating for everybody. Me included. There are games where he says, ‘This is a turnover-driven team and we can’t have turnovers because they’re going to capitalize and they’ve done that all season long. They’re plus-12 in turnovers. They’ve scored this many points off them and if we do this, we’re going to lose.’ 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’ve got to have a great season in order for our team to be productive. Along with everybody else. But the only person I can really control is myself. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about the way the season ended last year, and obviously the way the goals that we set at the beginning of every season. So 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. And we’ll get to the point where we’re ready to play in September, and we’ve added plenty f new people and coaches, like we do every year. Everybody just needs to come together. It takes every single guy on the team, and all of us, we need to do a better job of leadership. I was one of the leaders last year and obviously I sucked at doing that. I need to do a better job of that. I need to do a better job at playing quarterback. And that’s what I’m prepared to.”

On if he believes there was a leadership void in New England’s locker room last year:

“You can’t have enough guys who are leaders. And obviously there are many ways to do that. There are Rodney Harrison types and Troy Brown types, guys who just show up to work and put the work in every day. Larry Izzo, he was a great leader for us. You can never have enough of those guys who really are selfless guys. I was talking to Torry Holt yesterday and we were talking about some of the Rams teams that he played on and he said, ‘You know, we had a lot of great guys on the team.’ And my comment to him, what I said was to me that is the only way. Because playing with a bunch of guys that you really don’t enjoy spending time with, that doesn’t last very long. And 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 is a lot of issues that you have when that repeats itself time and time again over the season. Coach always used the words mentally tough to us, and I agree with him. When the going got tough, we didn’t get going. We weren’t really a mentally tough team last year and I think that has been a point of emphasis for coach this offseason. Hopefully we found a way to address it with each other and with coach bringing in different players to see if they can bring a little of that to our team.”

On if he feels like the Patriots still have top flight talent after seeing the bevy of offseason moves made by other teams:
“I love our receiver position. With Randy [Moss], and Wes and Julian [Edelman] and David Patten and Brandon Tate, the way he has been working he has had a great offseason so far. We have a lot of speed at the position right now and a lot of veterans guys that have played and that know what it takes in terms of running routes  and getting open and being in the place they need to be. With our tight end group and a veteran group of running backs, I love our offense. Believe me, all these other personnel moves that these teams our making, our coach is monitoring those as well. It is not like those are like, ‘Wow, I had no idea that would happen.’ When Santonio Holmes is getting ready to be traded I’m sure there are a lot of people that know that. These teams that add them, good for them. They obviously are looking for something else at that position and if we were looking for something at that position we would be in the middle of things too. So obviously our coach feels pretty comfortable with how our team is right now.”

On how much he thinks wide receivers Torry Holt and David Patten have left in their tank at this stage in their respective careers:
“They are both outside guys; they really don’t play where Wes plays. They both have very good speed and both are really precise route runners. In our offense, especially at the position, it requires more route running technique. There are a lot of different styles that guys have from Randy to Wes to Troy to Branch, the way he was for us. Both guys are very smart players and they know how to set up their routes. I love having David back; he is one of my favorite teammates with his work ethic. He produced a lot in some really big games for us. He was out last year with an injury that has healed at this point and he looks great running routes and so forth. And Torry, it has been nice to see him around. I always enjoy having veterans out there who are really mature and just show up and know what to do. So hopefully they add a lot to this offense. And we can use a lot of that veteran presence they are going to bring.”
On how much the suffocating paparazzi bothers him, and if things like aerial photographs of his new house with graphics saying that is this room and all that is wearing on him:

“It is kind of the way it is out in LA. That is what they do. I would have really been worried if they got some of that stuff right, but they didn’t. That’s just the way it is. I’m probably more comfortable now than I have ever been and it is much less distracting for me. Certainly my wife dealt with it longer than I have, but you just make your plans with what you anticipate outside of your house. We don’t go out very much anymore and when we do it is kind of like, ‘ OK, this is what we expect.’ When there are four cars waiting outside your house and you have to get things done, just do it. I used to drive 70 miles per hour down Sunset trying to get away, but that is probably not the smartest thing to do. Now I say ‘Screw it, I’ll deal with it’ and hope it is not too invasive.”

On being photographed recently with David Beckham and if he worries that his friends growing up will wonder what’s happened to the Tom Brady they knew and loved from back in the day:

“No, it is hard to worry about a lot of that. You know Gerry, I think people who know me, they know who I am and what I am all about. Especially my teammates and a lot of my friends from growing up I am 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 are in for a long time, and however exaggerated that story is — which it was quite exaggerated — it is part of what I wanted to do for myself and for my family. So hanging out with different people, I’ve had that opportunity for a long time. I always just look at people for who they are and David is a nice guy, so I don’t get caught up in a lot of the other stuff.”
On if he watched the Super Bowl and if he was cheering for Peyton Manning to win or lose against the Saints:
“To tell you the truth, I did. And I like Peyton a lot. He is a guy I have watched over the years and always admired how he plays. His style of play is my style of play, so I can always understand what he is looking and and why he is doing the things he is doing. He had an incredible year and Drew Brees had an incredible year – the best year of his career — and both guys to me were neck and neck for the most valuable player in the league. So when they got to the Super Bowl I did watch the game — I wanted to see those offenses play. Drew had an incredible game and the way it ended with Peyton, I don’t know how it ended with him and Reggie [Wayne] there at the end. I couldn’t imagine that Peyton thought he would stop running the route either. And obviously Reggie is a great player and there was just a miscommunication between the two of them, which happens when you have little option routes like they did there. When it works great it looks beautiful and when it doesn’t work out you see stuff happen like it did there. I felt bad just because I never like seeing that happen to a quarterback. I know how it feels and it feels pretty shitty, especially when it happens in the Super Bowl.”

Listen here to Brady with Dennis & Callahan on WEEI in Boston

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