BOSTON (CBS) — It was the captains’ turn to address the media regarding the Aaron Hernandez situation on Thursday, one day after Bill Belichick spoke for more than 20 at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
Not surprisingly, Tom Brady did not get very deep into details regarding the murder charges against his former teammate. Yet, he didn’t avoid it.
“I think everyone had a certain range of emotions, whatever they might have been,” Brady said of his reaction to hearing the news. “But those were really personal and I dealt with them and at some point you have to move forward. I think we as a team are doing that.
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“It’s been a challenging offseason but we’re going to try to move forward as best as we know how.”
Brady called the situation of Odin Lloyd “tragic,” saying the fact that a player on the Patriots roster was involved was “a very sad thing.”
“Everyone really takes the leads from Coach Belichick and Mr. Kraft. I know they’ve commented on how they feel, and we as players just try to follow their lead,” Brady said. Hopefully we can go out and do something that our community can really be proud of.”
Entering his 14th season in New England, Brady spoke of the sense of responsibility he feels toward the community.
“Boston has a strong sense of community. It’s why I love being here and why it’s my home,” Brady said. “It brings so many people together and we’ve had so much success on the field over the past 13 years in all of our teams. … It’s really a great thing to be a part of, to have that type of support.”
Brady was asked if Hernandez “fit in” with the rest of his teammates, as some reports have said he didn’t have friends on the team.
“I don’t think it matters at this point,” Brady said. “I don’t think any of that really matters to me or anything that’s going on with the legal process or anything like that.”
Brady played with Hernandez for three seasons, beginning in 2010. Hernandez caught 175 passes for nearly 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns, adding another 35 receptions for 360 yards and two touchdowns in six postseason games.
Earlier on Thursday morning, a brick at the University of Florida honoring Hernandez’s All-American season in 2009 was removed from campus.
Brady said that the “Patriot Way” means mental toughness and working through adversity, and the team will have a chance to display that in the coming weeks.
“We’re here to try to win football games and try to represent all of New England. We try to do that the best way we know how. There’s a very high standard that so many guys have set forth before,” Brady said. “To win football games and to represent the community, no question. That’s what we show up here every day for.”