QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
July 31, 2019
Q: How do you feel about turning 42 this coming weekend?
TB: It's another year. It's a good time of year. This means football season is getting close, so I'm pretty excited.
Q: As a rookie in 2000, did you ever think you would be standing here in this position 20 years later?
TB: I was trying to make the team at that point, so to do it 20 years later is pretty unreal to me. But, I'm enjoying it. You know, every year has its different challenges, and it's like a day like this, we've got to keep grinding through them. It's hot, we've been at it for a week or two, and we've got to find ways to make improvements. That's what this time of year is all about.
Q: Are you still having fun out there?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. I have a great time, I mean football is – I love the sport. I've loved playing it since I was a kid. You know, it's hard for me to imagine doing anything else in life. I love playing ball, so to still be out here at 41 – soon to be 42 – it's a pretty great thing for me.
Q: What are your initial thoughts on how the offense is taking shape with younger players?
TB: Well, there's a lot of turnover every year and you deal with the turnover, and there's a lot of new guys trying to assimilate into what we've done here for a long time. It's really up to them to get up to speed, and everyone here has got to help them get there. Between the coaches, the veteran players, the leaders – it's our responsibility to get everyone on the same page, doing the right thing and trying to help us in whatever way they can help us move the ball down the field and score some points.
Q: How much does the heat take a toll on you?
TB: I think this is part of the challenge. Whether it's like this in late July, August, or whether it's freezing cold in December, January, February, you've just got to figure out how to deal with it. The elements are a factor – we're not basketball players, we're not hockey players – we deal with the elements. You've got to deal with the heat and there's probably, between a 90-degree day and what we dealt with in Kansas City last year, which was, I don't know, five degrees? I mean, that's an 85 degree difference. So, you've just got to figure out how to deal with those elements the best you can.
Q: What was it that led to you working on strength training this off-season?
TB: I focused on a lot of things. I really did. I think there's a lot of – you know, every year has its different challenges, and I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more, and I worked pretty hard at that. It was good, I still realized when I got here that I wanted to be a little more fluid, and get back to the fluidity that I'm used to, too. There's a difference between getting really dense and obviously being more pliable, and that's really what my focus was.
Q: Does it get harder every year to leave your family and make this big commitment?
TB: The last couple years, it's been great for me to spend the off-seasons with them, and really fill up that bucket and give them the time, support, and love that they need. When I'm here doing my thing, my wife's got to hold down the fort and she has put a lot on hold over the years to support my dreams. I feel like it's my responsibility as a husband to do the same for her. She's happy when I get back to football because she knows how happy I am. It was a great off-season, but now it's time for football, and I think everyone in our family is prepared for that.
Q: How was it working with Josh Gordon during the off-season?
TB: There weren’t many opportunities, but he was around and I needed someone to catch. I've always enjoyed playing with him and obviously hope everything works out for him. I'm hoping the best, certainly.
Q: How significant does the loss of Rob Gronkowski feel going into this season?
TB: Yeah, I mean, he's a great player. To replace great players, it's not like you just pick another one off the tight end tree. You can't just go out back. You've got to find guys that come in and want to put the work in and want to try and contribute. Between the guys we have out here now, which is Ben [Watson], and Matt [LaCosse], Stephen [Anderson], Ryan Izzo, Lance [Kendricks] who we just got – those guys are trying to do everything they can do. They're all new players, so we've got to figure out how to get them up to speed to what our expectations are, the level of competition on a daily basis. We've got a very good defense this year. Those guys are challenging us on every day. It's hard to complete passes on our secondary. That's just the reality. So, it's actually great work for our offense to see how we measure up against a very good defense. Days like today are frustrating for us and we've got to learn from the corrections and try to come out and have a better day tomorrow.
Q: Are you in a good place with the team right now regarding your contract situation and long-term desire to be here?
TB: Yeah, you know, I've had such a great experience over a lot of years. I appreciate this team and the opportunity it gave me in 2000. I play for a great coach in Coach [Bill] Belichick, and Josh [McDaniels] and I have a great working relationship. I love Mr. [Robert] Kraft and his family. We've had just incredible success. Hopefully we can keep it going.
Q: Is going year-to-year a possibility for you with your next contract?
TB: We're all day-to-day if you think about it. None of us are really promised anything. I'm trying to do the best I can do today and just let those things sort themselves out.
Q: Do you feel that you've earned a contract extension?
TB: I don't know. That's up for talk show debate. What do you guys think? Should we take a poll? Talk to Mr. Kraft, come on. No, like I said, we've got a great relationship so we'll see how it goes.
Q: Do you think your snaps will be managed more throughout practices going forward?
TB: There's no schedule or anything like that. I'm just trying to take it day-by-day and get out and practice. That's what football players do.