Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't speak with reporters this week when the media had access during New England's OTAs, so Thursday morning's chat with the Dennis & Callahan crew on WEEI radio in Boston was the first time we've heard No. 12's thoughts on a busy offseason.
The biggest question this spring gone unanswered by Brady until this point, was how he felt about the departure of favorite pass target – Wes Welker.
"I don't think anything surprises me anymore in the NFL," he said on the program with which he does a weekly interview during the regular season. "I've been around long enough to see things happen at different times with the greatest players of all, whether that's Wes or Randy Moss being traded by the Raiders or Brett Favre and playing for the Jets and Vikings.
"That's what happens, this is a, like I said, it's a very tough, competitive business and nobody appreciated Wes more than I did and what he was able to accomplish for our team," he continued. "He's moved on, he's in a good situation with another great team and a great quarterback. We always kind of kept in touch, we always will. He's one of my best friends."
Always the diplomatic leader, Brady wouldn't get into his more specific emotions when he realized Welker was moving on to Denver.
"Of course I have feelings, but those feelings are very personal to me," he said. "I used to get caught up in angry and disappointment, but I don't make the decisions, these things aren't up to me. At some point you've got to realize the things that are out of your control, you've just to to let go, focus on my job and what I need to do. The game moves on, the team moves on, there's only so long you can dwell on the past and at some point you've got to move forward.
"Like I said, my job for my team is to be the best quarterback and not the general manager, not the coach and not the owner. It's to try to go out there and bring my own competitiveness to the field so that those guys that I'm playing with this year can rely on me and count on me to be the best I can be."
Brady wouldn't go too far in comparing his new slot receiver – Danny Amendola – to his former.
"[They play] similar positions, they're about the same height, they've both got very good ability," Brady said. "It's hard, Wes was so productive for so long, I think it's unfair to compare anyone to Wes and what he was able to accomplish in his time here. Danny is really, he's just been fun to work with. I think he's come in with an open mind and an understanding of the way that we as Patriots, the way we need to play."
Brady answered another common question regarding his offseason contract extension – one deemed to be below market value by most – saying the deal didn't come with any sort of side agreements in terms of personnel decisions surrounding Welker or others. He made it clear he didn't make a financial concession based on the idea that Welker would be retained.
"Those aren't my demands," he replied. "I want us to field as competitive a team as we can. And I have all the trust in the world that Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft] and coach Belichick do that. There's nothing about me, I don't say that, I'm not general manger. I can't say 'I do this, you do this.' That's what my decision was, it was kind of a value proposition for me and wanting to be in this system with Coach Belichick and the other players that I've been able to play with.
"I think we are going to field a competitive team. It's been competitive thus far through the offseason conditioning and OTA's thus far. We've been close; we were in the Super Bowl two years ago, we were in the AFC championship last year and I know we have a good team, we've just got to do a few more things better. Hopefully that will lead to more success."
To hear the entire WEEI interview with Brady, click here.
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