FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady could only laugh when he was told there has been talk that his play is starting to decline.
Brady also laughed off the notion that such talk — from ESPN.com and ProFootballFocus.com’s Sam Monson — could get him fired up to play the 2014 season for the New England Patriots.
“Umm, I’m always pretty fired up so, I think there’s people that always have opinions about us as athletes,” Brady said Wednesday after Patriots minicamp. “You just try to go out there and do your best and go home and hope that you left it all on the field. Some days you don’t play your best, but that’s sports. I’ll try to go out there and be the best I can be this year. Were they Jets fans or Dolphins fans or Bills fans? Patriot fans? I don’t know. Everyone’s a little biased.”
Brady has support from the people who matter in his life, who also are biased. His wife, Gisele Bundchen, and his mom think he performed well in 2013.
“My wife things I played pretty good. My mom thinks I played pretty good. So that doesn’t matter,” Brady said about the criticism he received.
Brady actually critiqued his own ability when asked about learning the offense way back when in 2000, when he was a rookie.
“Some things come a little more natural to some people than others,” Brady said. “The mental part came a little more natural for me. I think I’ve really had to work hard on the physical part of what it takes to be an NFL player because, there’s a reason why I was a sixth round pick, because I didn’t have much ability. So you’ve gotta try to work hard to improve those things over the years while still keeping the mental game sharp.”
Brady has been stellar during Patriots organized team activites and minicamp. His connection with second-year wideouts Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce seems to be growing by the day, his relationship with receiver Julian Edelman hasn’t skipped a beat over the offseason.
“I love working with those guys,” Brady said about Thompkins and Boyce. “We’ve had a great relationship since they got here over a year ago. They put a lot of time in, a lot of effort to get to the point where they’re at now.”
The Patriots have one more day of minicamp on Thursday — unless head coach Bill Belichick decides to cancel the session — then the players are off until July when training camp begins. Brady won’t be treating the next month like he’s on vacation, though.
“I think that part’s over,” Brady said about vacation. “Not that you shouldn’t enjoy time with your family and stuff like that. For that seven months we’re pretty busy every day. I think you really focus on being preparation for camp. It’s really a time to start accelerating your preparation because you’ve got a lot of time to basically — what we’ve done these last four weeks, you know what you need to improve on.”