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Brady: Patriots weren't mentally tough

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a couple days after his first comments of the offseason appeared on SI.com, was a guest on Boston sports-radio station WEEI on Wednesday morning and covered a lot of ground.

Most compelling was Brady's take on what went wrong in 2009, when the Patriots won the AFC East, but were bombed out of the playoffs with an embarrassing first-round loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"When it comes down to it, games that we lose in the fourth quarter, games that we lose in the second half, or losing on the road like we did, that can be lack of trust, lack of confidence," Brady said, as transcribed by ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss. "There are a lot of issues you have when that repeats itself time and time again over the course of the season.

"Coach [Bill Belichick] always used the words 'mentally tough' to us. I always agree with him. When the going got tough, we didn't get going. We weren't really a mentally tough team last year. I think that's been a big point of emphasis this offseason.

"Hopefully, we find ways to address it with each other and also with Coach bringing in different players and to see if they can bring a little bit of that to our team."

Reiss provides a rundown of the interview's highlights on his blog. Among them is Brady's view of slot receiver Wes Welker's recovery from knee and shoulder surgeries.

"Wes is an old throwback," Brady said. "He's so mentally tough. Physically, he's tough to play that position at his size and the hits he's taken. He's a great teammate. He works harder than anybody on the team. When you're faced with what he's been faced with this offseason, that's how he's approached it.

"It's really been fun for me to see him and the improvement he makes on a daily basis when pretty much I was going through the same thing he was going through. He's made me look like I was a year behind schedule."