FOXBOROUGH, MA (WHDH) - Tom Brady made his first public statement since dropping his legal fight against his Deflategate suspension.
The quarterback said he’s trying to move on and stay positive.
“I tried to be as positive as I can be,” Brady said. “I know that’s kind of always been my motto. Over the course of my career, I’ve been faced with different things, and just tried to overcome them in the best way I could or the best way I knew how.”
Brady’s public comment on Friday was the first time he addressed the situation since he decided to drop his federal court appeals and accept his four game Deflategate suspension.
Brady appealed the suspension through several rounds of federal court, but opted not to push it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices were certain not to hear his appeal, according to legal experts.
He grudgingly agreed to the punishment handed to him by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“It was a personal decision,” he said.
Brady was on the field practicing this week, but as of September he’s not to practice or play or participate in any team activities for a month.
He said he’s just trying to get better in scrimmages – and do everything he can until he has to shut it down due to the NFL suspension.
“My family’s been everything to me, and the support of my teammates and coaches, and Mr. Kraft and Jonathan, and the whole team, and all our fans,” Brady said. “You know, I said the other night we’ve got the best fans in the world, and hopefully we give them a lot of reasons to cheer this year.
Q: What went into the final decision to step down from the legal process?
TB: It was just a personal decision. I try to come out here and just focus on what I need to do to get better and help our team, and like I said, I’ll be excited to be back when I’m back. I’ll be cheering our team on and hope we go out and win every game.
Q: Have you thought of how excruciating those four games will be or are you just trying to keep that out of your mind?
TB: I’ve tried to just be as positive as I can be. I think that’s kind of always been my motto. I know over the course of my career, I’ve been faced with different things and I’ve tried to overcome them the best way I could or the best way I knew how. I’ll try to do the same thing. I just want our team to go out there and play really well. I think we’ve had really good competition, trying to push each other so that we’re ready to go. It’s tough competition, the NFL. Every team is working real hard this time of year and we can’t take any days off. We have to go out there and try to work on something every day. Everyone has to be ready to go.
Q: How difficult was the decision for you to make?
TB: I think it’s just personal. I’ve tried to move on from it. I try to just, like I said, focus on the positive, being here with my teammates and getting better. You don’t want to go out and do anything but try to be a great example for your teammates. We’ve got a lot of competitive guys that have been out here on the practice field and I think that’s where the focus needs to be.
Q: How much did you rely on your family to get through the whole ordeal?
TB: My family’s been everything to me, and obviously, the support of my teammates and coaches, Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft], the whole team and all of our fans. I said the other night, I think we’ve got the best fans in the world, and we do. Hopefully we give them a lot of reasons to cheer this year.
Q: Is there some anger towards the situation still or do you have to just put it behind you?
TB: I always approach it, I have a job to do, and I try to approach it the best way I can. I’ve always tried to do things the same way. Every day is important to me, certainly as someone who’s been around here for a long time, I know I have to bring it every day. I think I just try to go out there and lead by example, try to bring it and show my teammates that I’m ready to bring it mentally and physically every day.
Q: How is going to feel a few weeks from now when you’re not able to be out there with the team?
TB: I’ll deal with that when it comes. I could have a plan and then change the plan, I really don’t know. I’m really focusing on every day and trying to get better. One of my coaches said, ‘Look, you’ve just got to get better every day,’ and that’s where my focus has been. These days are important for me, they’re important for every guy on this team to get better and make the improvements. Collectively, it’s a long season. We’ve got a good, competitive team. Like I said, I’m just going to be rooting for us to win every game that we’re playing that I’m not in, and certainly when I’m in I hope we win every game, too.
Q: How much have the events of the last month or so factored into your level of competitiveness during camp?
TB: I’m pretty much the same. I’ve been that same way for a long time. I think it’s just a way to elevate everybody’s game. It’s a very competitive team, it’s a competitive sport. You’ve got to bring it mentally every day. You’ve got to have an attitude about you. We have a lot of guys on this team that bring that. Trying to push their buttons, I love to do that, and they push it back. I think that gets the best out of everybody.
Q: Have you changed your approach to this training camp knowing you have a couple months until you play a meaningful football game?
TB: Honestly, I’m just trying to be as good as I can be every day. I think making improvements in certain areas; we’ve tried to make them. We changed our offense; we’ve had a lot of, kind of new players on the team, and just have been trying to incorporate them, so I feel like we’re building towards something. We’ve got a lot of meaningful preseason games coming up that we have to see some improvements in and we’ve got a lot of practices left. It’s a long season so it’s just going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of discipline and effort. Like I said, I’m going to go out and do the best I can do in whatever role that I’m asked.
Watch the entire press conference here.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski also spoke Friday about the start of the season, and said he is confident about Jimmy Garoppolo’s performance so far.
Q: What was it like to break things up a little bit and have that scrimmage today?
RG: It’s cool to break it up a little bit. It’s always just offense versus defense, so it’s a little cool to get on some of the defensive players’ team. Just to have a little fun with it, a little trash talking before, a little trash talking during, so it was cool to do that and change up the flow of everything.
Q: Did Devin McCourty give you any grief after picking off your pass?
RG: Not yet, but I’m sure when I see him, he’s going to let me know that he picked it off. But it was one of the best punts out there, right on the 1-yard line. That’s how I’m looking at it.
Q: How fired up do you get seeing Tom Brady chirping out there at all you guys?
RG: It’s a lot of fun. It’s every day, he comes out and he competes every single day. Everyone just chirping at each other makes the game fun and makes it special, too. Just going at it, everyone making plays, it’s just really cool.
Q: What’s it like to be around such a competitive atmosphere in practice?
RG: The competition level around here in practice is off the charts, it’s up there. Everyone competes every single day and that’s what gets you better as a football player and as a team. It brings you together as a team, everyone competing against each other and then helping each other out, getting each other off the floor, off the ground. It’s really good to see teammates out there helping each other, but also competing at full-speed, too.
Q: How does Jimmy Garoppolo look out there to you?
RG: He’s looking great. The way he’s just been producing every single week, upgrading his game every single week, and just knowing the offense every single week is going super well.
Q: How much can you get out of the joint practices next week?
RG: Well you get a lot out of every practice, and then the joint practices just give you another look. It gives you another feel versus another player, versus new linebackers, new safeties. It gives you the feel of what a real game will be like more so. It’s great to get those joint practices. I’m definitely looking forward to them.
Q: How important will the joint practices be to you seeing as you haven’t played that much in preseason games themselves?
RG: They’re important to everyone, especially myself. It’s always important every time you step out on that practice field to get better, but to go out there and compete versus new players, get new techniques down and see how to beat a new defender is always crucial.
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