Tom Brady Not Only Member of Patriots Missing in Action From Offseason Workouts


Tom Brady Not Only Member of Patriots Missing in Action From Offseason Workouts FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady is no ordinary member of the New England Patriots. Before he turned 30, he was basically the greatest player in the history of the franchise, a workout warrior, a study-a-holic, a leader by everything.

When Brady misses time in the offseason to be with his family on the West Coast, he admits he won't know his new teammates as well in July as he once did. And when the Patriots' offseason mantra focuses on a renewed dedication to leadership and locker-room chemistry, it's hard to pound that point home when Brady is 3,000 miles away.

This is an argument that could be debated forever. Would it be better for the Patriots if Brady had perfect attendance at voluntary workouts? Absolutely. But will an on-site weightlifting session in April be the difference between a touchdown pass and an interception in December? Most likely not.

Here's what we do know, though: Brady is hardly the only player who has gone home during these workouts. In fact, it's a good bet that every player who doesn?t reside in Massachusetts has made a trip elsewhere since March.

"I go home a lot," said Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather. "I have an 18-month-old little girl, so I pretty much miss her every other day. If I don?t get to see her on the computer today, then I go home this week. It all depends on her. Usually, she?ll say, ?Daddy, come home,? and I?ll just get up and leave. Other than that, I?m going to try to stay up here until she misses me."

Some of the guys get in their four-day workout and take off for three days. Others vary in their travels. Running back Fred Taylor spent a good chunk of the offseason in Florida before recently reporting to Gillette Stadium. Right guard Stephen Neal has been working on a fundraising effort in California, and that?s taken a good chunk of his time. Free-agent signees Torry Holt and Alge Crumpler reported to Foxboro within the last two weeks after going through their own private workouts sessions. Cornerback Darius Butler went to San Antonio to watch his alma mater, UConn, win the women's basketball national championship. And left guard Logan Mankins, who is unhappy with his contract situation, hasn?t shown up at all.

This isn?t to call out those players. Rather, it's to show the human element to their side of things. They all have commitments outside of football — family, mostly — and they've got to honor those. Despite that, the Patriots have still reported to these workouts in droves, and that?s not the norm around the league.

There's nothing wrong with holding Brady to a higher standard. After all, he put himself on that pedestal with a historic drive in February 2002, and he has continued to elevate its prominence ever since.

But just because Brady's off-the-field activities reach a broader audience — building a $20 million fortress, vacationing in Europe, walking through the park with a supermodel — doesn?t mean he's the only guy who isn?t at Gillette Stadium on a daily basis.

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