FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady’s competitiveness has not waned over the course of his 18-year NFL career. But the quarterback has become a bit more patient with his younger New England Patriots teammates, according to his superstar tight end.
Asked Wednesday if today’s Brady is any different from Brady circa 2010, Rob Gronkowski pointed to one noticeable change: He’s not mean to the rookies anymore.
“I’ve seen the same fire from him since I’ve been here,” Gronkowski said after the Patriots’ sixth training camp practice. “I would say probably, back in the day, he was a little bit more on you if you didn’t get it right, a little bit more in your face. But he’s 40 going on 41 now, and it seems like he’s backed off on that a little bit, which is nice. He used to be mean to me. I’m glad he’s not to these young guys anymore.”
When Brady does speak up, though, his teammates know they’d better listen.
“It’s just unreal,” said Gronkowski, who is entering his ninth season in New England. “It’s remarkable. You just learn from him. You want to get taught from him. You want to be on the same chemistry as him out on the field, because he knows where you need to be. He knows talent around him. He knows guys around him. He’s seen talent from the last 15, 20 years on. He’s played with everyone. He knows how players can get open.
“So when he has something to say, when he has something to correct, you’ve got to listen to him, too.”
Brady, who earned NFL MVP honors last season for the third time in his career, will turn 41 on Friday. He’s the NFL’s oldest active non-kicker/punter.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images
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