Tom Brady has missed all of the Patriots’ offseason workout program outside of mandatory minicamp, but that doesn’t appear to have changed his teammates’s opinion about him. In fact, when a trio of Patriots leaders stepped to the podium on the first day of training camp on Wednesday, they still had only praising words to say when talking about their quarterback.
At 41 years of age, Brady is entering his 19th season in the NFL. He’s completed his MVP season and throwing for over 500 yards in the Super Bowl just a few months ago.
“I certainly think you have to take the time to pause and be appreciative of an athlete like that,” special teams ace Matthew Slater said of Brady. “What he’s been able to accomplish is special and to be able to witness it up close and personal is really a blessing. I’m thankful to have learned from him as a professional, to see the way he goes about his craft, to see his desire to prepare himself so he can be successful. It’s really something to watch. I’m thankful to be witnessing greatness.”
Brady led the league in passing yards in 2017 as part of his MVP season, becoming the first player to accomplish that feat at age 40.
“I think we’re spoiled,” Devin McCourty said. “I think we’re so used to that. You don’t think about it. Tom is who Tom is. You know, every day you know you’re going to get him in here early, leaving late, working hard, encouraging guys. The thing I’ve loved about him since I’ve been here – he’s always a guy that you can look up to. He’s always an example. You don’t have to sit there and ask him a ton of question about what he does, how hard he [works] – you just watch him and you can see it. I think anybody who steps foot in the building, you kind of see that right away.
“So, since I’ve been here, he’s always a guy, you know, he’s in the early part of camp, he’s kind of full-go. As soon as guys are reporting, he’s always already ready to go. You know, it’s so normal for especially a guy like me. It’s my ninth year, so I’ve gotten to watch that nine years in a row that I don’t even think about it. But, as you said, to see him still grinding, I don’t know if I could pull that off for 19 years. You know, I think it’s a huge part of the team’s success and being able to watch him and his leadership. ”
Center David Andrew also shared his admiration for Brady.
“You’ve got to have a lot of respect for that guy,” he said. “Just seeing what he does day in and day out, the same drive and focus that he’s had, in my – now going on our fourth training camp together, I guess – so it’s kind of crazy to see all of the things that he’s accomplished and things like that, and still has that drive and things like that. It’s a great quality of his and something you look up to.”