Tom Brady has come out of his offseason hibernation and made the interview rounds supporting charity and has answered many questions about his commitment to the team. Tom used to be a fixture during the offseason early in his career, always working out at the stadium. For many years, he earned one of the coveted parking spots given to the offseason’s hardest workers. That is no longer the case. Brady has been in and out of the offseason program, bouncing back and forth from Foxborough to LA. He has been trying to maintain a careful balance between being around for his family in LA and his team in New England. Is he the dedicated worker and quarterback he was early in his career? Some analysts, such as NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes, have raised that question and feel that Tom’s dedication to his family will take away from his ability to be an effective QB. Even some Patriots fans have begun echoing that sentiment on various message boards throughout the net.
Those that know Brady the best aren’t buying it. Two of his former teammates, recently-retired LB Tedy Bruschi and former QB Drew Bledsoe have come to Tom’s defense.
Tedy Bruschi, now an analyst for ESPN and frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com, said earlier this week that, “If there is one player on this team whose work ethic can never be questioned, it’s Tom Brady.” You can see video of Bruschi’s take on Brady by clicking here. Former Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe had a nearly identical statement when asked about Brady during a recent wine tasting event in Newton, MA. Bledsoe, just in case you forgot, lost his starting QB job to Tom Brady when Moe Lewis delivered a crushing hit to Drew that severed a blood vessel in his chest. Brady took over while Bledsoe was hurt, led to team to its first Super Bowl, and the rest is history. Bledsoe was later traded to Buffalo during the offseason before ending his career in Dallas. Number 11 simply said the following about Brady:
“He’s the last guy anyone has to worry about.’’
Current Patriots center Dan Koppen was asked earlier today at Q&A session what he feels about Brady and balancing family life versus voluntary workouts:
“I think it’s an individual situation. Everybody has their different circumstances going on. Things change as your life goes. This is our job, but it’s not our family. Family is family and work is work. You just have to balance them. I think he does a great job of balancing and doing what he has to do with his family and being here. He’s here as much as he needs to be. If he needs to be here, he’d be here if he felt that. There is no one in that locker room that is sitting there saying ‘Tom should be there, he’s blowing us off.’ We all understand that people have things. A few guys are back in school graduating. What are you going to tell them, they can’t graduate? It’s one of those things. We know they are training. We know they are working hard. It doesn’t really affect what is going on right now.”
I have to agree with Bruschi, Bledsoe, and Koppen. Brady has never given Patriots fans a reason to doubt his commitment to the team, especially after returning from major knee surgery to lead a rebuilding team to a division crown and garner statistically the second-best season of his career. Now, because he wants to be a good father, we have to question his commitment to the team? I feel that’s pretty ridiculous. There are plenty of worse things players can do and be than good fathers. We should be happy and proud as Patriots fans that our future Hall-of-Fame QB is also a pretty good person.