Tom Brady already had commented publicly on ESPN’s recent exposé of the New England Patriots. But when he joined WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan” for his weekly radio interview Tuesday, the Patriots quarterback decided to really clear the air.
Brady spoke at length about ESPN author Seth Wickersham’s explosive report detailing a power struggle among him, team owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. He adamantly refuted many of the article’s findings, including reports about his relationship with former backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the controversy surrounding his personal trainer and close friend, Alex Guerrero.
Here are a few quotes that stood out from Brady’s interview, as transcribed by WEEI.com:
On the report that Brady hasn’t won the “Patriot of the Week” award all season and has pointed this out to Patriots staffers: “No, I think things like that, I can?t imagine me ever saying that, or me talking about that. It?s hard to even answer that question.
“I have won (Patriot of the Week) plenty of times. Again, it?s hard to even answer that question. There?s really no basis for it. It?s hard to — I don?t know. I just shake my head.”
On the report that Garoppolo initially was locked out of the TB12 Sports Therapy Center when he sought treatment there: “Again, it?s hard to even answer those questions. It is so far from any truth that I know or any characterization of my relationship with my teammates. I have never denied anybody anything in regards to TB12. I have always found it very flattering when teammates go there.
“Again, I think this speaks to someone, whether it is the writer himself, or whoever he spoke to, what agenda they might have in painting some type of picture.”
On the notion that Brady felt “liberated” when New England traded Garoppolo: “I think that is such a poor characterization. In 18 years I have never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut. I would say that is disappointing to hear that someone would express that, or a writer would express that because it is so far from what my beliefs are about my teammates and I think I am very empathetic about other people?s experiences. I know those situations aren’t easy.
“I have never been traded or released, but I can imagine how that might feel. I would never feel that way when Jimmy got traded, or Jacoby (Brissett) got traded. I have kept in touch with all those guys. When Matt Cassel was gone — all these guys I?ve worked with. I feel like I have had such great relationships with all the quarterbacks I have worked with. I have kept him touch with basically everybody. To characterize that as a certain way is just completely wrong.”
On the report that Brady told teammates, ‘Bill (Belichick)’s answer to everything is to lift more weights,’ while advocating for Guerrero’s training methods: “Again, I am not a divisive person. I don?t speak about things like that, and again, I think we?ve talked for a long time about how I feel about training and my preparation. Again, people come up to me whether it is my teammates or other guys and say, ?Hey, what are the things that you do? What are the things that have worked for you?? I can just convey that certain message. Whether that is how I train, or how I eat, or sleep, or drink, all those things. I just try and give them the answer that works for me.”
On his relationship with Belichick: “Again, I have spoken about this so many times and even this last weekend I did a show, Coach Belichick has been such a great coach and mentor and I certainly could never accomplish anything in this sport without everything that he has taught me,” Brady said. “I have been so lucky to play for this team. There?s been so many great coaches here, players, staff members, Mr. Kraft and Jonathan (Kraft). I have had such great support here.
“I think again, to characterize it any differently than how I say it, and again, I could say it a million times and then someone could write one thing. It is really up to whoever is listening that wants to believe it and maybe they want to believe it because that?s what they want to believe. They want to believe things are maybe different, or maybe they want to believe ? I don?t know.”
On the report as a whole: “I think that is a big part of what goes on in some of these articles. That is why I never take anything too seriously anymore. I think I have been a part of a lot of articles over the years that I disagree with. People can write whatever they want to write. This is a free country. You can say what you want to say. I am evaluated on my job, I am sure other people are evaluated on their jobs.
“I think it is just being in my position and I understand there?s 31 other cities where people aren?t Patriots fans or Tom Brady fans. Here, there?s a lot of competition within our media. I have been a part of that for a long time, too.”