Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl two years ago. Last season, Brady won the MVP award, and the Patriots came within a couple of plays of winning yet another Super Bowl.

One would assume Brady must be enjoying himself, which made it a little surprising to hear the quarterback say earlier this week that the last two years haven’t been a lot of fun.

“The last couple of years, a lot of parts about football weren’t enjoyable when they should have been,” Brady said on his Facebook Watch series “Tom Vs. Time.”

He added: “Some of it was my approach, and I think any time you’re together with people for a long period of time, relationships ebb and flow. And people are just looking for something to write and talk about.”

There certainly have been no shortage of reported issues with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. We might never know for sure how bad it is or isn’t, but Brady added a little more context to those comments Monday night in an interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio.

“I love football — I love the sport, I love being on the field, I love playing the game — I think sometimes it can feel like there are a lot of other obligations that come along with football,” he explained. “If you let those take too much of an impact or toll, you can bring those onto the field. Being in it for 19 years, I’ve grown a lot, I’ve learned a lot, and it comes down to prioritization. I think this offseason was great for me to spend a lot of time with my family, catch up on some things that I’ve never had opportunities to do, to really refocus and reenergize for what’s really a marathon of a season. It’s a lot of energy and effort you put out. You want everything in your tank and ready to go.”

It’s not too difficult to read between the lines here. Brady still loves being under center and Sundays, and he clearly still loves to compete. But as is the case with a lot of athletes as they get older, it sure sounds like Brady doesn’t enjoy the prep work as much as he might have in the past. That certainly would explain why the reigning MVP skipped the team’s voluntary sessions this summer.

How much of that is related to Belichick and the way he runs the Patriots, well, Brady likely would say that’s up to the “people looking for something to write and talk about” to figure out.

Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images