"I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more," he said Wednesday, addressing local reporters for the first time. "I worked pretty hard at that."
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Brady, who often stresses the importance of pliability, said the results have shown up on the practice field early in training camp. He also has worked to maintain his fluidity.
Brady, who turns 42 on Saturday, is looking to become the first quarterback to ever start all 16 games of a regular season at that age.
"Football, I love the sport. I've loved playing it since I was a kid. It's hard for me to imagine doing anything else in life," he said. "I love playing ball, so to still be out here at 41 -- soon to be 42 -- it's a pretty great thing for me."
Brady has not attended voluntary workouts each of the past two years, focusing on time with his family, which he said has him in a good place early in training camp.
"It's been great for me to spend the offseasons with them and really fill up that bucket and give them the time, support and love that they need," he said. "When I'm here doing my thing, my wife's got to hold down the fort, and she has put a lot on hold over the years to support my dreams. I feel like it's my responsibility as a husband to do the same for her. She's happy when I get back to football because she knows how happy I am. It was a great offseason, but now it's time for football, and I think everyone in our family is prepared for that."
One of Brady's toughest challenges early in training camp has been adjusting to life without retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.
"He's a great player. To replace great players, it's not like you just pick another one off the tight-end tree. You can't just go out back," he said "You've got to find guys that come in and want to put the work in and want to try and contribute. ... They're all new players, so we've got to figure out how to get them up to speed to what our expectations are, the level of competition on a daily basis."
Brady also finds himself in a rare situation entering the last year of his contract. He was asked if he would be comfortable going year to year at this point.
"We're all day-to-day if you think about it. None of us are really promised anything," he said. "I'm trying to do the best I can do today and just let those things sort themselves out."