Sandwiched between work on the OTA practice field and a team meeting Tom Brady met with reporters following the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards at Gillette Stadium on Monday.
Appropriately in the midst of his work day the New England's franchise quarterback talked about the work he and his teammates are putting in this spring with an eye on the long term prize.
"I would say we're far from midseason form," Brady said of the early stages of the process. "We just got started. We're gonna have a lot more work here. We have two good solid weeks left and quite a bit of training camp. A long way to go. A lot of practices.
"The guys are working hard. That's the best thing. There's a lot of great effort."
While the Patriots have the most stable organization in the game under the guidance of owner Robert Kraft, head coach Bill Belichick and Brady, there is still the annual process of reestablishing the team's spot within the competitive hierarchy of the NFL.
"I've been lucky to really be in the same offensive system my whole career and coached by the same coach. There is nobody that's I'd rather play for, Mr. Kraft, and no other coach I'd rather play for than Coach Belichick," Brady said. "Because I think we've got the greatest chance to win every year. That's really important part of playing the game. That's why we're out here working hard. That's why we pay the price is to go out and win games. It's not really for individual recognition, it's for team success. I think when you're part of this program whatever individual achievement or goals you may have for yourself, those always come second to whatever the team is doing. Because there is one thing that matters – two things – wins and losses. We have to get back to winning like we're capable. We feel like putting in a good offseason gets us off to a great start. By no means is there anything guaranteed but we do know if you work hard and you put yourself in a good position with this part of the year you'll be ready to start training camp. That's really what's on the horizon for us."
The theme of paying the price this time of year is one that Brady uttered throughout his 10-minute chat with the media, which came after he and Jerod Mayo had taken photos with the MVP Award recipients as well as the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation Boston Marathon team that raised more than $400,000 to fund the program.
The New England Patriots held their third organized team activity on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday, June 5, 2014.
"I think the thing that I've learned over the years is that you have to pay the price in advance. You just can't run on the field and expect for things to be better without putting the time in and extra effort," Brady said of his role. "I try to be really consistent and dependable for our guys and I think that's what the quarterback position needs to be. I think I try to keep everything coordinated and get all the guys understanding what I'm looking for out of them so that we can all anticipate what we're trying to do. Football is a very anticipatory sport. The more reactive you are the harder it's going to be for you. So we're going to try to dictates the things that we want to do on offense whether that's tempo, whether that's plays or routes or route combinations. It's all of us being on the same page in order to really efficiently and effectively of that on a consistent basis."
And despite internet analysis to the contrary Brady has been doing that at an elite level throughout his 15-year career, including last season. He expects to be doing that for the foreseeable future as well. He's learned to focus his energy better at the young age of 36, but otherwise sees things much the way he always has. Even if the media doesn't.
"That's what it was 15 years ago when I started. It hasn't changed at all," Brady said of wins being the only thing that matters. "I think things for me have just become more clearly focused for what I have to do to help us. Hopefully I'm answering those questions a long time from now, too. You guys can just reprint the stories or whatever you want to write now. I want to do this for this team for as long as I possibly can. I love playing football for this team and for this organization. My goal is to continue to play at a high level and there is nothing that really gets in the way of that."
According to Brady, a big part of that is about he and his teammates paying the price in the spring in order to hopefully reap the rewards in the fall and winter.