Few teams that start 3-0 with a trio of blowout victories can call the season “difficult.” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is using that very term.
During his weekly Monday night interview with Jim Gray of Westwood One, Brady addressed the events surrounding the acquisition and departure of Antonio Brown, starting with Brady’s reported comment that he was “100 percent” on board with signing Brown two weeks ago.
“That was supposed to be a private conversation,” Brady said, “but one thing I’ve certainly learned over 20 years of playing football is I can control what I can control. I’m gonna show up every day to do the best job I can do to be a leader of the team, to embrace new teammates, to embrace the coaching, the challenges that we are all going to face. It’s a difficult year. We’re all faced with different adversities, different teams at different times. We’ve had our fair share and we are going to do our very best to overcome whatever is presented in front of us the entire season.”
Without Brown, with Rob Gronkowski retired, and with Julian Edelman now injured, Brady has fewer targets as he prepares to return to Buffalo, where Brady is often the target of certain flying objects with his name written on them.
“It’s definitely a challenging situation that we are facing with depth and so forth,” Brady said. “We are going on the road against a very good defensive football team. Anytime you lose great players it definitely takes a hit to your offense. The reality is we are facing a very challenging game coming up. We will go do the best we can do based on the circumstances that we have. No one is ever feeling sorry for the Patriots nor should they. I’ve got a job to do and I’m going to go out and try to do it with whoever is out there and I’m going to do it the best way I possibly can.”
Brady also was asked about reports that coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft disagreed regarding whether to cut Brown.
“There are always reports and speculation about a lot of things that I have said or have not said or been a part of,” Brady said. “The reality is I don’t make any personnel decisions.I don’t decide to sign players.I don’t decide to trade them. I don’t decide to release them.I don’t decide to draft them. I don’t get asked. I show up and I do my job. I’m an employee like everyone else. I’m going to show up this week and do the best I can do as quarterback. Maybe one day I will be an owner and I can make all the decisions that I want. I would probably have to play another 20 years in the NFL to be able to afford that.”
If Brady had pushed for every dollar he’s worth over the first 20 years of his NFL career, maybe he’d already be able to buy a team. But that’s not the point. The point is that he’s very much adhering to the “do your job” mantra that has characterized the second wave of the New England dynasty. And Brady will have to do his job on Sunday without Brown, without Gronk, and possibly without Edelman.