FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the 2012 regular season begins, Tom Brady remains as the only player on the roster from the squad that won Super Bowl XXVI, the first of the franchise's three championships in four seasons. It's a testament to Brady's professional longevity, as well as a reflection on the turnover that exists within the NFL.
Brady, now 35, learned long ago not to worry about the changes that occur on a year-to-year, and sometimes week-to-week basis.
"There's turnover every year on our team, on every team. Coaches, players, staff and so forth. I don't think about it too much," he said. "I think I've learned at a young age, that you worry about what you can control and certainly playing quarterback and my attitude is what I think about on a daily basis."
Last Friday, the Patriots parted ways with three of Brady's close friends on the roster: wide receiver Deion Branch, center Dan Koppen and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. Brady says that while he will continue to support his friends, he has no say in the team's personnel decisions.
"I think in some ways you become a bit desensitized to it. It's not my decision, so I can't really think about it too much other than support your friends and what they're going through," he continued.
"It's not like I can go in and lobby for guys. What decisions have been are what Coach always feels are in the best interest of the team. You just try to go out there and worry about your job, and we had practice that day, so we went out and practiced, and you try to have a good practice, regardless of who is out there, because if you don't, then you're really doing a disservice to yourself, your teammates and the franchise. You've got to try to go out, compartmentalize things, and go out there and have good practices and hope to be prepared for the game."
Brady stated that he learned early on in his career that lobbying for a player to make the team was not a part of his job. He remembers thinking highly of a wide receiver named Aaron Bailey, who was released during Brady's second pro season after a strong spring, and initially being surprised by the move.
But rather than sharing his input to the coaches and personnel staff on what the team should or shouldn't do with the roster, Brady has dedicated all of his time to being the best quarterback he can be.
"It's challenging enough as is. I don't have to worry about too many other jobs," he said.