BOSTON (CBS) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady confirmed he’ll definitely be back next season, but he refused to answer when asked if he felt appreciated by the organization.
Brady spoke to Jim Gray Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California.
Gray asked him if he felt “appreciated” by the Patriots, and “do they have the appropriate gratitude for what you have achieved?” Brady said, “I plead the Fifth,” a reference to the amendment that protects someone against self-incrimination.
“I think everybody in general wants to be appreciated more at work in their professional life,” Brady said. “The people that I work with are trying to get the best out of me.”
As for his relationship with Bill Belichick, Brady said his coach is very respectful of him and has been for a long time.
“He’s the best coach in the history of the NFL and he has a management style of players and it’s, he would say, ‘Look I’m not the easiest coach to play for,’ and I agree, he’s not the easiest coach to play for, but he’s the best for me and I think what he’s proven is that whatever talent he has, he maximizes talent. I mean, what more could you ask of a coach than that? That’s what I want as a player,” Brady said.
“He’s an incredible coach. He’s been an incredible mentor for me. He’s taught me so much football,” Brady continued. “I wouldn’t be sitting here without his coaching.”
When asked if he is happy, Brady responded, “I have my moments,” but he added he’s happy with the people he works with and works for.
“There’s no people I’d rather play for or be committed to than the team that I’ve been with for a long time,” he told Gray.
MALCOLM BUTLER BENCHING
Brady was also asked if he knew why Malcolm Butler didn’t play in the Super Bowl. After a long pause, Brady said, “I don’t make the decisions.”
“I wish he would’ve played, but you know, the coach decided not to play him and we still had a chance to win.”
Gray asked Brady again if he knew why Butler didn’t play, Brady said “No, I haven’t gone and discussed those things… I don’t ask,” Brady said.
So do Patriot fans deserve an explanation? “I don’t know, that’s probably a better question for the guy who owns our team,” Brady said laughing.
“I think for me, you don’t make all the decisions. You know, I can control what I can control. So much of what my performance has been over the years, is how do I maximize what I can do? I can’t run, I can’t catch, I can’t block, I can’t tackle. I can do my job and I’m going to do it the best way I can. I’ve got to trust everyone else to do the same thing and sometimes it works out and for our team it’s worked out better than every other team for a long time, so how do you nit-pick one or two things? Everyone’s trying, in my belief, to do the best thing. It just doesn’t always work out.”
Brady said he wished Butler had played against the Eagles.
“I didn’t know. Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and was like, ‘C’mon TB let’s go!’ and I kept going, ‘What defense are we in where Malcolm’s not on the field? Is it short yard? Goal line?’ And after the game I found out, so I just didn’t know and I asked Malcolm and Malcolm said, ‘I don’t know, coach has just decided something different,’ and I said, ‘ok.’ So I don’t know what was part of that decision making, but I know we were trying to win the game.”
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
And despite all the off-season speculation, some of which he created in his final ‘Tom v. Time’ video, he said he’ll keep playing in 2018 and beyond.
“I’ve said for a long time, I want to play to my mid-40’s,” Brady said. “I have a great system in place that works well for me.”
He also tried to clarify his cryptic comments about “Why are we doing this and who are we doing this for?”
“A lot of people are getting the short end of the stick in my life, like certainly my wife and my kids,” Brady said. “I need to invest in them too.”
Brady added that he believes the extra family time in the off-season will hopefully rejuvenate him for the upcoming season.