There was a time as the offseason began that Tom Brady seemed unsure about his football future. During the last installment of his docuseries "Tom vs. Time" on Facebook, he openly wondered about continuing his career.
Then the quarterback decided to skip OTAs and was away from the team throughout the spring. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and that led to some speculation that he had lost his desire to continue doing the work he had always been willing to do in the past.
It does not appear as if fans have anything to worry about – at least not in the immediate future. In a Q&A with Religion of Sports, which he co-founded with Gotham Chopra (the producer of Tom vs. Time) and former Giants great Michael Strahan, that was posted on Monday, Brady eased everyone's fears.
"Football is my entertainment," Brady said. "There's nothing I love more, which is why I'm still playing. Knowing that my coaches, teammates and I are aligned on our goals — which is to get better every day and go deep into the season again — is what excites me the most.
"Getting out on the practice field with them and getting our timing right, tinkering with new ideas and plays, figuring out the chemistry with the new guys, going at it with the defense — all of it — is what drives me. I mean, I love it. I guess that you could say I found my conviction [wink emoji]. It's football season — LET'S GO!!!!
"I'm more focused than I ever have been. My kids are getting older, and have more activities and busier lives, which makes the time we have together all the more precious. It also means that the time I'm away from them — at practice, on the road, studying film, etc -— has to be hyper-focused and efficient.
"Life doesn't get put on hold during the football season, but it does change. I just have to be a lot more conscious of how I spend my time. And I think that sort of awareness has allowed me to appreciate and be grateful for the blessings in my life."
Brady also answered a few questions about camp life and getting himself prepared for the season.
"I am a creature of habit. I like my routines. So I'd say those are the must haves: I need good sleep. I need good nutrition. I need time to reconnect with my coaches and teammates, get my timing right on the field and review tape," he said.
"There are no shortcuts to training camp. Consistency, focus, determination, and discipline on a daily basis are what being a professional is all about — not any lucky charms or gadgets."
After reporting for 19 training camps during his career, does Brady remember his first?
"Drew Bledsoe was obviously a great leader for this team and mentor to me when I came into the league. Willie McGinest, Ty Law, Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson — those were guys I watched and learned from in terms of how they prepared and carried themselves. Bruce Armstrong was on that team, and he's probably one of the all-time greats. I obviously built a rapport with Troy Brown.
"And Bill [Belichick] — I mean, I've been lucky enough to play for the best coach in the history of the game. Obviously, our relationship has changed over the years, but even back then he was demanding and precise and expected a lot from all of his players. That was clear from the very start."