FOXBORO, Mass. — You might have heard that Tom Brady skipped New England Patriots organized team activities for the second straight year. It sure didn’t seem to impact him during the Patriots’ three-day minicamp practices this week, however.
Brady was 28-of-42 in 11-on-11 drills this week and 40-of-57 overall. And that’s while working with a new crew of wide receivers, including rookie N’Keal Harry and veteran Maurice Harris.
The six-time Super Bowl champion reiterated why he skipped OTAs while speaking to the media Thursday after practice.
“I have a family at home and I think they get some of my time and energy,” Brady said. “My wife is a very ambitious woman and she travels a lot, so just trying to divide some responsibility at home. She supports me a lot, my family supports me a lot and my kids aren’t getting any younger. So just trying to spend the time with them when I can and still get the other things done that I need to get done and be ready to go when it’s time to go.”
Brady has been working out on his own and with teammates during the offseason workout period. The QB, who’s entering his 20th NFL season, was asked if he felt he had to make up for lost time this week.
“Make up for what?” he asked, before the reporter clarified.
“I think trying to get ready individually and collectively, everyone has different things they have to do and I think our coaches do a great job with preparing our guys. Individually, guys are coming out here trying to get better. I’m trying to do the same thing. When we come together like this, it gives us a chance to see where we’re all at.”
Brady set off a small panic among Patriots fans who overanalyze social media postings when he tweeted out pictures of himself at minicamp with the Jay Z quote, “Treat my first like my last, and my last like my first!”
There seems to be no hidden meaning behind it.
“It’s a Jay-Z song,” Brady said. “I like Jay-Z a lot. … I just like the lyric. It was a pretty good lyric. Did you like it? I did too. I put some music lyrics on there from time to time. …
“I think it’s a general appreciation for every year, you’ve got to come out and you’ve got to earn it. I don’t think anyone relies on what I had done last year or 19 years ago. I think it’s about what I can do for this team this year to make sure my body’s prepared, my mind’s prepared, everything mentally and physically is in a good place. It’s a marathon of a season, I’ve said that for a long time too. Mile one’s not the hard part, mile 20’s the hard part and that’s where you have to bear down and where you’re really tested mentally and physically. Football’s a tough sport so when things are good emotionally, mentally, physically, I think that puts you in a great position to play your best football.”
So, don’t worry. Brady is still aiming to play until he’s 45 years old.
“I hope I can play that long,” Brady said. “I think you set goals for yourself and you have to have short-term and long-term and the reality is, this year is the most important one and that’s the one that I’m focused on. I hope there is a lot of football beyond this, but it’s a contact sport. I’ve said that for a long time, too, and I don’t think that you can take those things for granted. I try to work hard to put my body in the best position possible to withstand the hits and so forth, make all the throws and I feel like I’m in a good place right now for that.”
The four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP is entering the last year of his contract with the Patriots, however. That’s also on the minds of Patriots fans, though apparently, it doesn’t enter Brady’s very often.
“Yeah, I don’t think about it too much,” Brady said.
“I think those things work themselves out,” he continued.
Brady had jokes when asked if a contract extension has been negotiated while in Foxboro for minicamp.
“That’s none of your business,” he said, followed by laughter.
“I’ve never really talked about my contract or anything like that so I don’t really want to start doing that now,” Brady said.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images