We spoke with Tom Brady and heard his thoughts after the first joint session in Atlanta. Listen to his reactions about the tempo of practice, the weather in Georgia, and much more on Patriots Today.
Q: (On why he works so hard on every rep)
TB: If the quarterback won't do it, then who will do it? I think that's how I always think about it. If it's like, 'hey guys, that's all right. It was a [bad] play, but we'll get the next one.' That's not the way it works. The first rep of a drill is always the most important because you never get it back. It always sets the tempo and the timing. You don't go out and throw interceptions. You don't walk around. You don't jog through unless it's a jog through period. We're coming out here and competing. We came a long way for these practices. May as well come out and play our best.
Q: I know you've been competitive like that before, but is it also because of dissatisfaction with the way last season ended?
TB: Every year has been totally different. We have a very different team this year. It's what you guys saw last Thursday night. You know we have to be able to run the football, something that we are really making a point of emphasis. [We are] getting the tight ends involved. Obviously, the receiving group we feel very good about. So we are incorporating the new players and seeing what kind of offense we can put together.
Q: (On the new guys)
TB: And those guys add a lot. They bring a lot of energy. They are excited to be out here and excited to be playing. And new scheme, and those challenges are different. It's been a fun camp. I hate to use those two words together, but it really has been.
Q: (On exchanging ideas with other quarterbacks)
TB: I don't give away my ideas too easily. I've worked a long time for my ideas and I've been through a lot of games. And you got to really let the other competitors figure it out for themselves. I'm sure Matt [Ryan] has studied film. I've studied film on certain players that I like and offenses that I like and try to understand the things that they do well and why they are effective, whether it is play action or third down or other things like that. I've watched Matt since he was at BC, and I've enjoyed watching him. He's a great player. His first pass here was a touchdown, and that's a great way to start a career. I've got a lot of respect for Matt.
Q: (On whether running the ball more effectively makes his job easier)
TB: It's great because if a team can't stop the line, you're just going to keep running it. That's the reality. You control the whole game if you're able to run the ball. Problems are when you can't run the ball and it's really one dimensional, and then passing situations, they're just two and out. You hate to hand off on first down [to get to] second and nine because then you aren't going to want to run the ball. We're really trying to [work against] our defense every day because they are a great run-stopping defense. So I think that really helps us. The different schemes that we use to try to create some holes that we can run through. Our backs are fine no matter what.
Q: Does it feel strange to practice on another team's field?
TB: It's a little bit different. It's nice. They got a cool zone down there and water breaks.
Q: (On the weather)
TB: It wasn't too hot out. I think we brought some of that Boston weather down here.
Q: (On practicing with other team on adjacent fields)
TB: It's nice to sit over there and watch other offenses like sitting over there and watching their offense go against our defense - the different plays they run, hear the quarterback communicate. It's fun for me. There's always something I can learn.
Q: (On limiting throws in training camp)
TB: Not as much. I don't take a lot of unnecessary throws, but I haven't counted them as much.
Q: How do you feel health wise?
TB: I feel great. I feel great, as great as you can feel. My arm feels good. My legs feel good.
Q: How about your finger?
TB: Finger feels good. I've got no concerns.
Q: Bill [Belichick] said last week that the first practice against the Saints was one of the most productive he had ever seen in his career. How did that compare with this first practice?
TB: This was a good practice. We got a lot of stuff done. It's a different tempo. There's a lot of things that these guys do that the Saints don't do that our defense hasn't done. This is a very athletic defense - athletic linebackers, quick defensive linemen. They present a whole different set of [challenges]. We played them last year, so there's some familiarity with them. They're good. They've got a good group of core players. Hopefully, we'll be able to protect on Thursday night. They have some guys who can get on the ball.
Q: So a little quicker tempo to this practice?
TB: I thought it was a good tempo. It was a good fast tempo. I think it's fun for the players to get out and compete against other players. It definitely brings a certain level of intensity to practice.
Q: What's it been like this year watching Brian Hoyer coming along?
TB: He's done a great job. I really enjoy Brian. And from what you guys see, he's a really good player. [He] throws the ball well. He's got really good command out there. He's really smart. For a Michigan State guy, he's pretty smart.
Q: Any news on contract situation?
TB: No news. Just keep practicing. I'll go back and do what I can control.