By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Quite a bit has been made about Tom Brady’s offseason workout program this year, considering the quarterback opted to break character and skip all of the Patriot’s voluntary workouts in Foxboro. It made a headline or two in New England. So when Brady made his debut post on Instagram TV featuring shots of him slinging the ol’ pigskin with Julian Edelman, it obviously garnered some attention.
The video racked up close to 200,000 views in just a day, and it looked to share a lot of the same aesthetics of “Tom Vs. Time.” It begins with some tight shots of Brady getting an intense rubdown from trainer Alex Guerrero, including the rare armpit massage — something the average non-quarterback probably doesn’t sign up for at the local parlor.
“That’s why football’s tricky — because you need strength to take the hits, but you need the pliability to stay fluid. I mean it’s one thing to be a rock to take the hits, but you need to be a fluid athlete. You know?” Brady says to Guerrero, who absolutely does know. “It’s such a balance.”
Why Brady was philosophizing about ideas which he has philosophized many times before is anyone’s guess, but perhaps that’s how he plans to utilize the newest tweak to the social media platform.
The video then cuts to Brady lacing up his cleats and getting in some running work on a field. (Probably Pine Manor College? Though that’s difficult to discern exactly.) It’s notable because the field looks like one you might have practiced on with some of your youth soccer teams. It’s not particularly well-kept. It could use a good mowing. A stray soccer goal sits just off to the side. And there does not appear to be a single white line painted anywhere.
That’s a good lesson for the kids: If Tom Brady can work out on what appears to just be an open field, then it should be good enough for you, too. That’s probably a bit of an old-school philosophy these days, with all of the high-tech and pristine training facilities available to athletes of all ages and abilities. But Brady is, well, a bit old.
The video then moves on to the familiar sight of Brady — bedecked with Douglas shoulder pads and a red-facemasked silver helmet — firing bullets to his favorite receiver, Julian Edelman. What would be most interesting to see in this video would be how Edelman looks running his routes, as he’s still less than a year removed from a torn ACL. But unfortunately this video is mostly about the quarterback. For what it’s worth, Edelman’s hands do still appear to be functioning. So that’s good.
Now we should take a brief timeout. We’ve seen now a bunch of videos of Edelman running routes for Brady. It was in Tom Vs. Time, both at the cabin in Montana and a practice field while Brady gets monitored by throwing guru Tom House. It’s worthwhile to discuss how it came to be that Edelman earned Brady’s trust as the ultimate practice-field route runner, which Edelman shared in November on the podcast “Pardon My Take.” It’s certainly a lesson in preparation and persistence:
I didn’t get the invite. I just showed up. We have the same agent and I heard the stories that Wes [Welker] … Tom lived out there because that’s where his kid was for a long time. So offseasons he would go there. And I would hear that Randy [Moss] and Wes would go out there and they would throw with him. It was after my first year, and we had the playoffs, Wes got hurt, I had that Houston game, so I’m over here thinking like I’m part of the gang. You know, like, I had some numbers, I did some stuff, and I was like, ‘Don [Yee], find me a place to live at, I want to go out there, and tell Tom if he ever needs anyone to throw to, that I’m out there.’
So I go up, I station up in this Manhattan Beach Residence Inn off of the 1, and living in there, I find a training facility, I end up going to EXOS and start training there. And I sat there and I would call my agent, like, ‘Hey, bro, tell him I’m here.’ And I sat there all year, and he called me one time. I was at a barbecue on a Saturday. … I’m stalking the guy that I want to learn from, and I want him to learn my body. I’m stalking. I’m like Sting, bro. Every step he took, man. You know what I mean?
And so I’m at this barbecue, and I get a call, and Tom was like, ‘Hey, can you throw at UCLA in a couple hours?’ I fully drop everything, go home, I’m there for like an hour like warming up, sitting there, he comes up with Alex Guerrero and this guy Ben and they got a sack of balls and we’ve got like this private, awesome field at UCLA, the practice facility. And he just comes up and parks like right in the front; I had to find parking like two miles away on campus in like my mom’s Jeep. He’s rolling up in like ghost phantom type stuff, looking cool as a cucumber. He’s got his guy throwing him one of his waters, he’s drinking it. He’s got another guy rubbing his arm. And I was sitting there, warming up, and he goes, ‘You ready?’ And I was like yeah let’s go. And he ran me to the ground, bro. Like, I mean, we ran like 60 routes, and it was like two-minute drill, he would tell me the formation — this, that, he’d say weak safety Will. And I’d have to break hot and he’d kill me mentally, physically. I was dead. Drained. I mean I was at the point where I was throwing up.
I didn’t get a call again all that year. And so the next year, I went back out and I was like, ‘Don, get me set up, get me a place.’ I went to my workout facility and he called me like three or four times. And then by year three, we were going three, four days a week. Then I started going to his house, he started bringing me in for lunch. And it’s a cool thing. He started to learn me, and I started learning what he likes. Because he’d sit there and he’d coach you up on a route, like, ‘Jules, you gotta give something at the top of the route here. Shake here, lean on him, and go! Get out of the cut! it’s cover three!’ And he would yell all this stuff and he was coaching me. He wasn’t trying to, but he was trying to get me on the same page as him, putting all these things. And I was learning what he liked vs. certain things, and that’s kind of how we learned each other.
How about that? Pretty crazy, but it worked out. Anyway, back to the Instagram video.
The video ends with Brady excitedly yelling, “Just like that!” before repeating himself as the picture fades to black: “Just like that. We’re hitting on that one.” It’s the type of clip that might help sustain a football-starved fan in late June.
Here’s the video in all of its glory.