FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the New England Patriots concluded their seventh organized team activity Monday, quarterback Tom Brady talked about the approach he has attempted to bring to the practice field.
“When you play this game for a while and reflect on all the great teams you’ve had, it comes down to a lot of guys that are willing to pay the price for each other. I think that’s really what you’re really trying to establish at this time of year,” he said.
“What type of team you’re going to be? Who is willing to put it all on the line when, really there is no glory in this, an OTA practice. There is no glory in the weight room or out there on the conditioning field. But it will show up at some point. It’s a long season. At some point, the mental toughness, the discipline of the team, always shows up. Those are the things we’re trying to work on.”
Last week, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said he still sees improvement in Brady’s game. Brady said Monday he can always find more areas to fine-tune with the overall team goals in mind.
“It’s not necessarily just my improvement, but how my improvement relates to the rest of the team,” he said. “We all change from year to year -- the strengths of our team change every year based on who’s out there, who’s playing, what schemes are working -- and you always try to play to the strengths of your team. The more strengths we can have, the tougher we’ll be to defend.
“But me as an individual, I always try to be the same. I try to be pretty consistent for a long period of time. That’s really a great motivation for me -- to be the same caliber of player that I've always been for this team, and for the team to really depend on me. So I don’t have a lot of worries that they’ll have to worry about me.”
Brady explained why he thinks it's important for a quarterback to set the example for his teammates.
“I think the thing I’ve learned over the years is that you have to pay the price in advance," he said. "You just can’t go right out on the field and expect for things to be better without putting the time in and extra effort. I try to be really consistent and dependable for our guys and I think that’s what the quarterback position needs to be. You can’t go out and screw up a bunch of plays and make a bunch of wrong calls; before you get to the line of scrimmage the play wouldn’t work. I think I try to keep everything coordinated and get all the guys understanding what I’m looking for out of them so that we can all anticipate what we’re trying to do. Football is a very anticipatory sport. The more reactive you are, the harder it’s going to be for you. We’re going to try to dictate the things we want to do on offense, whether that’s tempo, plays, or routes or route combinations, and it’s all of us being on the same page in order to really efficiently and effectively do that on a consistent basis.”