New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about his possible retirement on a WEEI radio show yesterday (Dennis and Callahan), and his response was quite Brady-like. Take a look:
“There’s nowhere I’d rather play, I know that. I love playing for this team and I love representing this team and hopefully I can do that for as long as I can. When I suck, I’ll retire, but I don’t plan on sucking for a long time. So hopefully that leads me to being here and there’s no place I’d rather be.
“Like I said, I love this game and I love working hard at it. I’ve had a lot of people over the years tell me the things I couldn’t do. I think that’s always been great motivation for me to try to go out there and accomplish things I think I can do. Hopefully it’s to continue to play at a really high level for a long period of time.”
When Brady sucks, he will retire. I think that is a fair statement.
Brady is one of those players that knows his limits, and when he isn’t performing at an elite level anymore, he will decide to hang it up. We are extremely lucky to have one of the all-time greats play in Foxboro for such a long time, and not only that, but he has consistently played at an elite level. Hopefully we get another three or four good years out of the future Hall-of-Famer.
Brady touched on a few other topics while on the show, including Rob Gronkowski’s potential return, new tight end Tim Wright, and this year’s Patriots defense.
On Gronk possibly playing on Sunday:
“Well, I hope so. The more guys we get out there the better. We just started the week of practice, so I think everyone is trying to get out there, learn each other and the final roster has finally been picked. Whoever is on the active roster has to be ready to go. We are going to need contributions from everybody.
“If Gronk can be one of those guys then I think that makes our team better. But, we have a lot of playing and contingency plans for everybody being out. That’s just what we have to do. …
“Being [Gronkowski's] teammate for the last four years we know what he can bring to the team — what his ability is out there, what he is capable of by not only his own ability but how it helps the other guys out there too. We have a good group of guys, so that if they are going to cover Gronk then we have to throw to the other guys and when he is out there he is obviously a great target.”
On Tim Wright:
“I watched him a lot last year because we had a lot of games where we saw Tampa play in and said who is this young No. 81 who looks like a good player? So, I am excited to have him on our team. He’s a good player. … Hopefully he can go out there and keep making [plays] because we are going to that position to be a big contributor on the team this year.”
On the defense:
“Everyone thinks this time of year the whole team is improved — we have made all these changes and this player is gone, thankfully, and now we have this guy coming to save the day. Everyone thinks every year their team is better. There’s 32 teams that are very hopeful when in reality that’s probably not the case — just hope and opinion. That’s why we go out there and play and put everything out there on field. You go out there and give everything you have got every single week to see where you are at. My opinion doesn’t matter because [the defense] is going to get a chance to go out there and prove it anyway.”
Coming back to Brady’s thoughts on Gronkowski, I think Gronk’s value to the other players on this team is understated. We all know how talented the big man is, and if he is healthy, number 87 will put up monster numbers. But he improves Brady’s offense in so many more ways than just catching the football.
Gronkowski opens up countless opportunities for everybody else in one-on-one situations, he draws a ton of attention in the red zone, and last but not least, he is a great blocker in the running game. I am sure Brady will enjoy seeing Gronkowki back on the field, but I think Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen will enjoy it just as much.