How important is Tom Brady’s absence from OTAs? To answer that, listen to Tom Brady

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The sort-of-expected-but-still-jarring absence of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady‘s from Phase 3 of the offseason program has prompted two very different reactions. The crowd who actually thinks “voluntary” workouts are voluntary resent the implicit pressure on Brady or any player for skipping the sessions, under the warped logic that because the workouts aren’t labeled “mandatory,” they’re somehow not important. Others realize what should be obvious: Given a starting quarterback’s role as part player, part coach, anytime the guy occupying the top of the depth chart at the most important position on the field isn’t there, it’s a HUGE deal.

To prove that people should be concerned about Tom Brady’s absence from OTAs, we give you the following quotes. From Tom Brady, in June 2013.

“The truth is, this lays the foundation for the start of training camp and if you have a good training camp, it usually means a good start to the season,” Brady said, via Patriots.com. “A good start to the season leads to good position entering the second half of the season. Everything ends up having some significance to it. You’re not just out here running plays and going through different things that aren’t going to mean anything.

“We’re out here trying to get a lot of things accomplished. I think we have done that, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s really never-ending, especially when you play for Coach Belichick. Especially in practices when the offense goes against the defense, because if the offense makes a play then the defense sucked and if the defense makes a play then the offense sucked so someone is really going to get yelled at on every play.

“There’s always lowlights when we come in on the next day. Even if it was a great offensive play, he’s going to yell at someone on the defense. We’ve become a bit used to that now and that’s part of the learning process and also learning how to play for the Patriots and understand the criticism that you’re getting and hopefully use it constructively so you can improve as a player.”

With even fewer opportunities in the offseason and training camp than there used to be, each and every practice and rep takes on even greater importance. This year, Brady isn’t around to help lay the foundation for training camp that becomes the foundation for the start of the regular season that becomes the foundation for the middle of the regular season that becomes the foundation for the end of the regular season that becomes the foundation for the postseason.

It’s still not clear why he’s absent. Money could be an issue. Frustration over the still-unexplained benching of Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII could be an issue. Fatigue over being constantly yelled at by Belichick, as evidenced by Brady’s quotes from nearly five years ago, could be an issue.

Regardless, his absence won’t help the Patriots win in 2018, and it may help Belichick become more determined to find a quarterback who will be truly all in for 2019.

72 responses to “How important is Tom Brady’s absence from OTAs? To answer that, listen to Tom Brady

  1. Tommy’s way of sticking it to the man ,,,but the first time ol Tommy Boy has a bad game watch what B.B. does ,,,ahhh take a seat on the bench son ,,you just been trumped by the hoodie !

  2. Brady is reigning league MVP, and back to back AFC Champion. And GOAT. 🙂

    I think he’s earned the benefit of any doubt here.

    Not to mention that he will also be 41 years old for opening week. That’s kind of meaningful.

  3. Times change. That was Brady’s manufactured response 5 years ago. I’m sure he would have had a different answer if asked “ how detrimental will player X’s absence from OTAs be to the team?”

  4. Regardless, his absence won’t help the Patriots win in 2018, and it may help Belichick become more determined to find a quarterback who will be truly all in for 2019

    ARE you For real????? Tom threw for over 500 yards in the super bowl…. he had an MVP year. He is coming off of back to back super bowls, one of which was the greatest comeback in the history of the super bowl.

    And your saying his staying away won’t help them win?? Come on man, Tom Brady is in his 20th year, and he needs a voluntary minicamp???

    Wow are you off base….

  5. He’s got maybe a season left with any effectiveness. He could have more, but he’s too needy. Guys like Manning knew that as their career reached the end, they had to put in more work to stay at the top. Brady is too selfish to see that. It’s a shame.

  6. More players should skip OTAs. Other than a three day minicamp, it’s completely voluntary. Unless a player is on the roster bubble or has workout bonuses in his contract, they don’t need to be there.

  7. Brady seems very me-focused these days. Not like him to be this selfish. I’m afraid the Brady that put the team first is gone for good.

    Then again perhaps it’s understandable as he has given the team a very generous break on his contract over the years and now he feels it’s time to collect what he is due. Who knows.

  8. Can’t stop trying to make something out of this, can you? Took a 5 year old statement and completely ignored the fact that Brady has skipped OTAs 5 times in the past 10 years. It’s not new for veterans to skip OTAs. It’s not even new for Brady or Patriots to skip OTAs.

  9. or maybe his thinking has just evolved and he realized it’s not as important for him to be there as he once thought it was.

  10. Family is also an issue. He has 3 kids and they are getting older.

    Body stamina for a 40+ year old also has to be considered. He can’t necessarily practice for 8 months straight without feeling worn down.

    There’s a huge difference between 40yo Brady with a growing family and 30 something Brady with toddlers @ home.

  11. This could get interesting. It kind of reminds me of the Elway/Shanahan fued. I wouldn’t be shocked if Brady ends up in an executive role with the Patriots after he and Belichick retire.

  12. I can’t wait for the season to start.

    This is attempt 15000 to flame the Patriots and create controversy. And the media wonders why people don’t think they’re journalists. It’s all gossip.

    It’s 2018. Not 2013. Tom is 40. Certainly nearing the end. If the compromise to keep playing 2 or 3 more years is to spend more off season home, so be it. Nobody questions his work ethic. He’ll be in the best shape possible. He’s hosted workouts with his receivers to help lay the foundation for training camp. He’s not ignoring teammates and sitting on his butt.

    I’ll check back tomorrow to see the next daily fictional piece on the Patriots.

  13. He has put his ass on the line and put more on his shoulders for that organization.

    Have they done the same for him?

  14. You’ll take any opportunity to slide Butler’s name in an article, huh?

    Fact is, the SB is over and Butler is gone. At least you got a few clicks…

  15. The guy has a clock in his personal gym that counts down to the Super Bowl every year. He keeps complete binders in his house for every season so he can go back and review them for more motivation, including his Deflategate suspension letter. Last year he even took down the Madden Curse, winning league MVP after featuring on the cover of the “GOAT Edition” and then releasing videos where he walked around wearing a protective bubble to taunt it. He doesn’t care about your beliefs or superstitions, he simply is the greatest that has ever been.

  16. The Dynasty has run its course.

    There will be so many people in this world, that will rejoice at the decline of the Patriots.

    I know I will.

    🙂

  17. .
    A reasonable person could make the case that Brady’s last two seasons were his best. If he’s setting his own schedule and the Patriots are still going to the Super Bowl, why tamper with success?
    .

  18. daddeeo says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Blah Blah Blah. Or should I say controversy controversy controversy. Everything is a reality show now.

    TB = GOAT

    —————————————————————————
    Hahahahaha…are you one of the 47 Patriot fans that existed in the entire world before 2000? You guys are clowns. Bandwagon riders at their best. Another Pats fan who thinks Andre Tippett was tennis player and not an All-Pro LB. Current Patriot “fans” make late 90’s “Yankees” fans look good.

  19. Regardless, his absence won’t help the Patriots win in 2018, and it may help Belichick become more determined to find a quarterback who will be truly all in for 2019.

    ———-

    Voluntary. It’s irrelevant.

  20. Florio – why are you such a “divider”? You have so many articles that are written from the standpoint of try to make something out of nothing. Trying to convince the reader of your angle. Just report the story and don’t embellish with your opining.

    I don’t like the Patriots, but good grief dude – how about this instead:
    TB is probably the best to ever play – he doesn’t need OTAs.
    He already knows the system.
    His kids are getting older and maybe he wants to spend some more time with them now.
    Maybe it has nothing to do with BB, but he likes his time as he’s getting older. He’s put in a bunch already and is heading for his sunset years – which, by the way so is BB.
    Brady’s life will move on nicely without football.

    Stop trying to make something out of nothing – again…

  21. Edward Halverson says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:44 am
    The Dynasty has run its course.
    There will be so many people in this world, that will rejoice at the decline of the Patriots.
    I know I will.

    ————

    You do know that the Patriots didn’t win the Super Bowl for 10 years there. It’s not their first rodeo dealing with issues. You may just want to wait until they play a few games before you condemn them.

  22. Just stop it. You know exactly what you’re doing. There is no story here, you’re just trying to stir up controversy for page views. Stop it. You’re better than this.

  23. Isn’t Brian Hoyer QB2/Clipboard holder in New England?

    TB12 has got five (5) SB rings, peeps, so cut him a little slack.
    – I Am Not Even A Patriots Fan lol

  24. Total non-story, does anybody really think that the OTA’s are critical to Tom Brady at age 41? Maybe Tom is at home destroying more cell phones or some other activity that will help the Patriots cheat and maybe this time, get away with it.

  25. gtrav says:
    May 22, 2018 at 11:06 am
    Just stop it. You know exactly what you’re doing. There is no story here, you’re just trying to stir up controversy for page views. Stop it. You’re better than this.
    ———————
    Not so sure about your last sentence.

  26. The Elite Joe Flacco will be QB in NE in 2019. He loves playing in Gillette and will do hoodie will not make him think too much.

  27. superpatriotsfan says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:13 am
    I don’t listen to people who claim they have nothing to hide but yet destroy their phones while being investigated.

    ———————
    Anyone repeating lies in order to imply another person lacks integrity is ironic indeed.

  28. dougchillin says:
    May 22, 2018 at 11:17 am
    are we going to have to hear about this stupid non-story story all offseason?

    —————-
    Got anything better? Because they don’t.

  29. “gtrav says:
    May 22, 2018 at 11:06 am
    Just stop it. You know exactly what you’re doing. There is no story here, you’re just trying to stir up controversy for page views. Stop it. You’re better than this.”

    Interesting to see how many of you didn’t even make it through the first paragraph. You really, really love Tom Brady, eh? Do you think he’d engage in the same sort of hero-worshipping, reality bending mental gymnastics to defend you if you skipped out on a day down there at the sanitation department?

  30. NE is about to run into the Brady Curse, they will not win another Superbowl for 100 years.

  31. Disagree with Pats fans that think this in nothing. It’s not nothing. Brady himself has said so in the past. It’s not huge either. But it is part of team building. He’s got some new faces@WR, as well as young players and vets returning from injuries. Ten ‘passing camp’ practices aren’t critical, but aren’t meaningless. We’ll find out June 5th whether it’s just about spending time with his family and saving himself for late season or it’s really about his contract, Guerrero, Belichick, Butler, etc. When Jimmy G was pushing him, he sure did toe the line though.

  32. PAUL SOUSA says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:35 am
    He has put his ass on the line and put more on his shoulders for that organization.
    Have they done the same for him?

    ————

    That’s a great questions. Not sure of the answer, but I can say that the general and media being so down on him for skipping OTA’s rings as very unappreciative of all that he has done for the organization.

  33. Every single day it’s looking more and more like the Patriots traded the wrong QB. Yikes!

  34. Why even have a training activity if the starting freaking quarterback isn’t even there to run plays with the offense?

  35. This is why the off season is so entertaining. The word Brady causing cranial implosions. Delightful to watch. All the usual suspect with all the usual comments. Time for some new material kids.

  36. Maybe Tammy can’t attend due to his numerous off-season hair plug appointments getting in the way

  37. Hahahahaha…are you one of the 47 Patriot fans that existed in the entire world before 2000? You guys are clowns. Bandwagon riders at their best. Another Pats fan who thinks Andre Tippett was tennis player and not an All-Pro LB. Current Patriot “fans” make late 90’s “Yankees” fans look good

    —-

    Lame

    So “47 Patriots fans” sold out every home game since 1994???

    Crybaby myth # 23. There were no Patriots fans before 2001

  38. As an Eagles fan I would love to be able to say the Birds dethroning Brady and the Patriots was the beginning of the end for that dynasty. However, the truth is that Brady has missed OTA’s 5 of the last 10 years. So far it hasn’t slowed them down at all, so I’m going to reserve any overboard end-of-the-world nonsense until I see it with my own eyes. He’s proven too many people wrong too many times to not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  39. I don’t listen to people who claim they have nothing to hide but yet destroy their phones while being investigated.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Well you should, because after all the evidence and investigation info came to light it was obvious he was actually the only one telling the truth. That is unless you want to cling to proven liar Rodger Goodell telling you footballs do not lose PSI in cold and wet weather? Your choice

  40. I’ve always admired Bill Belichick and Tom Brady but when Belichick did not play Malcolm Butler, in the Superbowl, it was the first time I totally disagreed with the head coach. For years I’ve listened to the arguments is Bill Belichick’s success due to Tom Brady or the other way around. I have come to this opinion and that the main reason the Patriots have won all these years is mainly Tom Brady. Sure Belichick is part of it but what he did in the Superbowl this year told me, he didn’t want to win as much as Brady and the rest of that team, Gronk and the others chasing an historical NFL landmark. Belichick’s reasons when finally given were half assed, and I thought were selfish and frankly that of loser. If it wasn’t for Malcolm Butler hell you would still have 4 Patriot Championship not 5. The guy should have been out there, he deserved it and so did his teammates, because the guys on the field, all of them including Brady deserved it. Belichick went one step too far on Superbowl Sunday and that will always put him behind Tom Brady as the one with the greatest will to win and deliver. Bill Belichick will now always take a back seat to Tom Brady and I firmly believe he made Bill Belichick not the other way around. Hell it’s the players who are in the real battle and risk their asses on the field every game. Malcome should have played and B.B. hurt his reputation badly trying to prove… ‘what no one really knows?’ Maybe he’s the one that getting too old. Still I have great reverence for Bill Belichick as a great coach maybe the best but no longer do I consider that as a sure thing. He lost the will to win on Superbowl Sunday and that you can never do if your a winner.

  41. I love the way Brady keeps laughing at NE fans and they don’t even realize it. He thinks he’s above everyone else because he has a coach that doesn’t nothing but cheat and they continue to win. And yet, the fans don’t care, no matter how much they are disrespected by this phony diva.

  42. Brady says X: “Brady is right, Brady is god, show me where to slob his knob”

    Brady contradicts X: “You haters are haters, why don’t you stop hating and understand the difference between X then and X now”

    Rest of NFL fandom: “Ugh”

  43. This is ridiculous. Brady all but said in his Facebook documentary he wants more time with his kids.

    As a diehard for over 35 years, I don’t like this at all with so many new WRs to break in.

    I mean, the guy has personally fired more WRs and TEs can any QB in history because they can’t be 100% perfect for him, and here he is galavanting around acting like he’s above the team which is the complete opposite as to what partially what made him (hard work and drive) the GOAT.

    He’s had plenty of time to go on vacations spend time with his kids, etc.

    It’s just a weak excuse at this point of his career, especialluy with him knowing how the troll media works.

    And, lastly, no real Pats fan needs to air the truth about Malcolm Butler. I found the truth and know the truth and if BB aired that, the media would string up BB for bashing Butler publicly.

    We don’t need an explanation when we already know why Butler was crying on live tv as a 28 year old adult.

  44. superpatriotsfan says:
    May 22, 2018 at 10:13 am
    I don’t listen to people who claim they have nothing to hide but yet destroy their phones while being investigated.

    128 129 Rate This

    ———————————-

    He wasn’t still being investigated. He offered his phone, said they didn’t need it and they were done after an appalling 4 hour interview.

    Do you believe in the tooth fairy as well?

  45. Flash1287 says:
    May 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm
    Hahahahaha…are you one of the 47 Patriot fans that existed in the entire world before 2000? You guys are clowns. Bandwagon riders at their best. Another Pats fan who thinks Andre Tippett was tennis player and not an All-Pro LB. Current Patriot “fans” make late 90’s “Yankees” fans look good

    —-

    Lame

    So “47 Patriots fans” sold out every home game since 1994???

    Crybaby myth # 23. There were no Patriots fans before 2001

    ———————-

    Laughable. I have family that slept in a hotel lobby in New Orleans in January of 1986.

    Season tickets since ’78.

    Been going to games since the early/,in 1980s, personally.

    To say that, basically means you are supremely jealous of Boston sports, its history, the educated fans and the fact the redheaded stepchild since 1960, now has become the big dog on the block and still churning.

    Every bit of anger in every keystroke from you is an absolutely delight.

  46. Missing OTAs for Tom doesn’t mean much. If he’s a no show in June practices that might be a concern.

  47. He forces the trade of Jimmy G and then pulls this? Petty. He would never have done this last year when there was a viable alternative. Huge Pats fan, but this is not a good look.

  48. Not sure how Tom “forces the trade of Jimmy G” but isn’t it great how Pats fans can turn on you quick?

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