Brady looking forward to another season and another challenge
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
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."