As he gets set to open his 19th NFL season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he's not looking for any more drama when it comes to all the off-field stuff.
In his first press conference of the regular season Friday afternoon, Brady was asked about the current state of his relationship with his body coach Alex Guerrero, and if he's OK with that in relation to the team.
“Alex and I, we work together,” he said. “I don’t want to bring any drama this year, you know? I just want to focus on what I want to and be a great football player for this team and try and be a good example in the locker room and provide great leadership. That’s where my focus is. A lot of times, we want to talk about other things, but I just really want to stick to football and focus on being the best player I can be for this team.”
Brady touched on a number of other topics:
On his 19th NFL season: “I’m really excited. I’m really excited. It’s a blessing to be able to do it. I love playing football. I love the sport. I’ve been doing it for a long time — I’m not sure what life would be like without it. I’ve had a few experiences where I haven’t been out there, and I haven’t liked those very much. So hopefully we can go out and start the season well. We’re playing a really good team. They’re going to test us in every phase. They’re really well coached. They have some good players. That’s really where my focus is.”
On the confidence level in his receivers: “I have confidence in them, certainly. Phillip (Dorsett) and Chris (Hogan) have obviously ... I played a lot with them last year. Cordarrelle (Patterson) is new. He’s done some good things. That’s the reason why he’s here. He’s a really good player. He’s been productive in the league. To be on this team, you have to be a good football player. And the guys who are out there, I certainly have a lot of confidence in. We’re all going to be learning on the fly, and you’ve got to build as the season goes. We’re in a certain spot now, but this is not where we want to be as we get through the season. Every week, we want to build on things, and there’s no way to replicate what we’re about to go up against. That’s why you have to go through it. We’ll see where we’re at.”
Does the current arrangement with Guerrero work for you? “Yeah. I’m a pretty mentally tough guy, so I’ve dealt with a lot of circumstances over a long period of time. Eighteen, nineteen years. I’m really excited for the season. I’m really excited for where we’re at, where we’re going, what we have to do. And there’s a lot of challenges we’ll face. I want to feel good. I want to be the best quarterback I can be. And that’s a big commitment. A daily effort.”
At 41 — does it feel different? “Yeah. Like all of us who are … a lot of people in this room who have been in the same career for a long time. You use it to a real advantage, a great advantage if you do things the right way. I feel like I have a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge. And I plan to use it. Football is fun for me. I feel like I can go out there and anticipate a lot of things. Seeing all the coverages. We have a lot of answers to the test. Now, you just have to go do it. Most athletes, by the time you get to a certain point, you have it figured out mentally (but) physically, it becomes really hard. So I’m trying to be at my best physically and be at my best mentally. That’s a good place to be. There’s a lot of confidence, from my standpoint. I know we’re facing a good defense. They challenge you with that D-line. They have good linebackers. Really well-coached and really well in the secondary. It’s a good place for us to start.”
Adjusting to new receiving groups and that challenge: “I think that’s part of the challenge of this particular position, when it comes to offensive football. There are a lot of moving parts from year to year. You may be really good offensively in one area and through free agency or competition, they don’t make it, you have to morph the offense to what the guys do well. I’ve been in the same offense a long time, so in a lot of ways, the system is morphed to what my skill sets have been, and other people have to come in and really fill what that particular role is for them. It’s a tough system to play in for a receiver. I definitely don’t think it’s easy, and I know that because we’ve had a lot of guys come from a lot of different places. And there’s a lot of memorization. Being on the same page with the quarterback. Changing routes at the line of scrimmage. Changing routes in the middle of the play. And you have to be on the same page. So we try to morph the offense to what we all do a good job at, and those things change over the course of the season, with different guys who come in and out. Hopefully, we can do a good job of that this week.”
Valentine only missing player at practice
Practice squadder Vincent Valentine was the only player missing from the start of Patriots' practice on Friday, according to reporters who were on the scene, as New England continues prep work for the regular-season opener.
Here's the injury report for Sunday's game: