Tom Brady discusses lockout, workouts

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- At a feel-good event for charity on Friday night, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady offered a feel-good perspective for fans on the NFL's labor battle.

"There has been a lot of positive news from both sides," said Brady, one of the lead plaintiffs in the antitrust suit against the NFL. "Everyone is working hard for a great outcome. I'm confident that a lot of reasonable people will come to a very reasonable agreement. ... Hopefully there is a great outcome. I'm relatively confident that there will be."

Brady, one of the Patriots' assistant player representatives, was in town for his annual charity event with Best Buddies International. He hosted a touch football game Friday night at Harvard, which came after three days of informal team practices at nearby Boston College that included more than 40 teammates.

In a brief interview at halftime of his charity game, Brady touched on a variety of topics, including the team workouts, his recovery from January foot surgery, success of other professional sports teams in Boston, and getting his hair cut.

The tone he struck on NFL labor, in particular, was notable. While acknowledging that "nobody knows" when the lockout might end, he sounded optimistic.

"The players, we all stick together," he said, when asked about having his name on the lawsuit against the NFL. "We realize how important each one of us are to each other. A lot of guys really care about the game. The guys that have been around for a while understand what it takes for us to grow the league, to be a part of the business of the NFL, to be great representatives for the NFL, and to leave the NFL in better shape than when we came into it.

"I think that's the responsibility of all players -- young or old. A lot of guys really do a great job of that. I've seen a lot of things, I'm not as young as I used to be, but I also feel like the veteran players are really the ones that need to support what's going on right now. Everyone does a great job of that."

As for his role as a leader with the Patriots, Brady deflected credit for helping arrange the workouts at Boston College.

"There were a lot of people that were instrumental in getting everybody together. We have a lot of great leaders on our team," he said. "There are a lot of guys who are really working hard. That's what we need."

Brady described the last three days as "fun" because a good portion of the team was together again, adding that "there was a lot of good work." He pointed out how some players stuck around longer to support his charitable efforts, including first-round draft choice Nate Solder, the towering left tackle from Colorado who could soon be protecting his blind side.

When it comes to his recovery from January foot surgery, Brady painted a positive picture. One couldn't notice anything out of the ordinary in the way he moved around the field the last three days.

"I feel good, good enough to run around here and have fun," he said. "I'm excited for football season."

He's also been keeping an eye on the other professional sports teams in Boston, starting with the Boston Bruins playing in the Stanley Cup finals.

"It was exciting the other night. I wish we would have pulled it out," he said, noting "it was a bummer about the Celtics" and how the Red Sox slipped a bit in getting swept by the White Sox.

"We have a pretty good thing going in Boston right now with our sports teams. We get such great support from our fans ... I think it's really a pleasure to play in front of people who really care."

Brady, who stood next to his "Best Buddie" Katie Meade during the interview, capped things off by answering to gossip columnists. The question: Did he finally cut his hair?

"A little bit," he responded.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.