Tom Brady has been around a long time so he understands how life in the NFL works. Over the course of his 17 years in New England, Brady has watched many good friends come and go – from Drew Bledsoe and Lawyer Milloy to Richard Seymour and Logan Mankins.
The latest came on Monday when Jamie Collins was sent packing. While the suddenness of those moves always catch the players off guard, Brady understands the nature of the business and realizes no one is immune to the situation.
"You can't be around this long and not realize that the world will keep spinning and the sun will come up tomorrow without you. That's just the way it goes," Brady said Wednesday during his brief press conference. "I think you enjoy the experiences that you have, but also understand that it just keeps going on. It could happen to anybody. You just have to show up to work, do the best you can do every day, and let your performance just try to speak for itself."
Much of Wednesday's briefing dealt with Collins' departure and accepting it as part of the culture.
Remaining close – Brady was asked about the idea of losing friends and how difficult that can be specifically for a young player such as Collins.
"I've had a lot of great relationships with all those guys. I still do, and I don't think that ever changes, but you also understand there is always change in the NFL. It's a challenging part of it. I think the older you get, the more you see. The more you understand, the faster you can process that. That's just the way it has to go.
"The changes take place in the offseason, they take place in training camp; you could very easily lose a player to injury. It's always changing and evolving and it's a challenging part about the NFL, but it's definitely inevitable. Everyone is still going to be in touch with [Collins]. He's our friend for life, so that doesn't change."
Accepting the challenge – The Patriots are no strangers to dealing with the potential adversity that comes from such a move. Brady discussed how the team needs to remain focused and was asked if he felt his teammates had the mental toughness to overcome Collins' absence.
"Well we'll see. You can sit up here and say yes or no or think of all the different hypotheticals, and I think that's just – we're going to have to wait and see. We as players, it's not our choice; we don't do anything about it. At this point, we've just got to do what our job is and that's to go out there and try to make improvements this week and then get ready for next week."
Bye time at the right time – Brady obviously is just getting back into the swing of things after missing the first month but his teammates have been going at it pretty hard since the start of training camp.
"Yeah, all those guys, it's definitely – the bye week, whenever it comes, it's always at a good time whether that's the fourth week of the year or the eighth week of the year or the 10th week of the year. Football season is long and you go through training camp, and even all the offseason stuff, and it's good to have time to kind of refresh your mindset, recalibrate where your team is at, study and self-evaluate the things you need to do."