Tom Brady broke his silence Monday, speaking to a reporter for the first time since the Patriots' 33-14 playoff loss in January to the Ravens.
And there was one theme from the Patriots quarterback: "Life changes," Brady said in Sports Illustrated. "You've got to be able to change with it."
Brady has faced criticism this offseason for missing some of the Patriots' voluntary workouts. NESN.com reported in March that Brady showed up more than a week after the workouts began, and Brady told SI's Peter King that he only spent two weeks at Gillette Stadium before leaving to rejoin his family.
Brady also said he planned to report back to Foxboro on Monday morning and will attend all mandatory practices and camps throughout the offseason. The Patriots continue their workouts for two more weeks, and at the end of May, they'll start a series of voluntary offseason team activities, which focus more on football-specific drills. New England's first mandatory session is a three-day minicamp June 15-17. The team will then break for about six weeks before mandatory training camp starts in late July.
Brady has two sons who live in California. Jack, 2, lives with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan. Benjamin, who is five months old, lives with Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen.
"It's a balancing act,'' Brady told SI. "I don't want the next 10 years to go by and to say I wasn't there for my sons. I wish I could be there [in Foxboro daily in the offseason] the way I was when I was 24, but life is different now. Things actually are much more simple than they've ever been. I used to spend every weekend running around with friends. Now I've got two great kids, and I love spending time with them. [Benjamin] is usually up at 6 in the morning, so that's when the day starts now.''
Brady used to receive perennial recognition for his offseason workouts habits at Gillette Stadium, but he's had limited involvement during the last two offseasons, although last year was due to the rehabilitation from a left knee injury. Because of Brady's recent string of absences, tight end Alge Crumpler said last week he had yet to even speak with his new quarterback.
"I'm not going to have the same relationship with the guys as if I was there every day,'' Brady told SI. "I hope they can understand. I've seen it handled different ways by a lot of guys on the team in the past, including some of the real leaders. I've seen Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison when their family lives turned in different directions, and they couldn't be in the offseason program every day. Ultimately, what it comes down to is this: We've all got to be ready to play.''