New England QB Tom Brady draws upon the lessons learned over the years from from his late friend,…
Minicamp: Brady Looks Ready To Go
There have been questions in recent years about Tom Brady's commitment to football, and whether or not it's waned because he has preferred, at times, to train on the west coast during the offseason to be closer to his children.
Once Brady hits the field, there's no doubt he's as strong a competitor as anyone in the game, evident last year when he put together another stellar season with 39 touchdown passes and 5,235 yards.
Now that he's coming off his second loss in a Super Bowl following February's nail-biter against the New York Giants, Brady appears more motivated than ever as he begins ironing out all the wrinkles at this year's minicamp.
To remove any doubt that Brady isn't as dedicated to football now as he was more than a decade ago as a newcomer with something to prove, the two-time Super Bowl MVP reiterated this week that what he does for a living is "the best job in the world."
"I don't think there's anything I'd rather do," he said. "I probably have more fun out there now than I've ever had out there, just because you don't take a day for granted.
"You get a chance to go out there and play football and you look forward to those moments of competition. I don't enjoy boredom and this is certainly not boring. I love coming out here every day and working with this team."
This year, it appears head coach Bill Belichick is pulling out all the stops to make sure the team is as prepared as ever entering the upcoming season, perhaps a carryover from last year's loss in the Super Bowl.
"There's been a lot of stuff thrown at the players, some mentally -- probably more than our level of comfort, but it's nice for everyone to hear things and cover everything and then at least you've heard it once we get to training camp," Brady said. "There's been a lot of installation every day and I think coach has really kept the pressure on us to see how much we're retaining from week to week."
As is the case every year, there are some new faces on the roster and some familiar ones that won't be back, namely wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who appeared to have a solid relationship with Brady, but never developed into a solid option offensively.
"There's always a lot of player movement," Brady said. "I loved being with Chad. He's a good friend and a great competitor and I enjoyed my chance with him and my opportunity to play with him, but I don't make any personnel decisions and as a player you've just got to deal with what happens and try to be the best quarterback I can be."
One of the players hoping to replace Ochocinco's lack of production last year is Brandon Lloyd, the former Denver Bronco who caught 70 passes last year for 996 yards and five touchdowns. Like anything else, the chemistry between the two will take time to develop, which is why these offseason camps are important.
"He's got a unique skill set so it's going to take some time to get used to things that he does really well," Brady said. "We haven't had anyone quite like him, so just to understand where he likes the ball placed and how he gets open.
"He's a very good player, so we've got a lot of work ahead in training camp and we're going to have to use every single practice and every rep really wisely, because he can be a big part of this offense if we can really get up to speed."
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