BOSTON (CBS) — With Week 1 of the NFL season upon us, Tom Brady isn’t letting any of the “hot topics” get in the way of his task at hand.
The Patriots quarterback only wanted to chat about football on Friday, his first press conference of the 2018 NFL season. Donning a “Pliability” T-shirt at the podium, Brady did his best to bend out of the way of any of those hot-button issues that people are talking (and screaming) about, and made it clear that his sights are set on the Houston Texans.
“I’m really excited. It’s a blessing to be able to do it; I love playing football and love the sport. I’ve been doing it a long time so I’m not sure what life would be like without it,” Brady said Friday. “Hopefully we can go out and start the season well. We are playing a really good team and they’re going to test us.”
As is usually the case whenever Brady talks, his personal trainer and business partner Alex Guerrero was part of the line of questioning. But Brady didn’t storm off the stage or cut his meeting with the media short this time, instead saying that he is happy with the current situation (Guerrero traveled with the team to Carolina during the preseason, after his travel privileges were reportedly revoked last season) the team has in place. He added that he didn’t want to stir up any of the drama that clouded the team toward the end of the 2017 season.
“[Alex and I] work together. I don’t want to bring on any drama this year. I’m focused on what I want to do and being a good football player for this team, being a good example in the locker room and provide great leadership,” said Brady. “That’s where my focus is. I know we oftentimes want to talk about other things, but I want to stick to football and focus on being the best I can for this team.”
Brady also stiffed-armed a question about liking Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike campaign on Instagram. Kaepernick’s new deal with the sneaker conglomerate has sparked a lot of debate and controversy over the last week, but Brady didn’t want to dive into the issue on Friday.
“I really want to focus on football, not hot topics or my reaction to hot topics,” he said. “I’m getting ready for the Texans, they’re a great team. That’s my focus.”
That’s a good area to focus on, given Houston’s defensive front gave him fits in Week 3 last season, sacking Brady five times while putting eight QB hits on him. Brady still threw for five touchdowns that afternoon, including the game-winner to Brandin Cooks with just 23 seconds left on the clock. But nothing came easy for the Patriots in that game, and Brady is expecting a similar clash between the two teams on Sunday.
“It took everything we had and some luck to beat them last season. I expect it to go down to the end,” he said.
With Cooks now in Los Angeles, Danny Amendola down in Miami, and Julian Edelman suspended for the first four weeks of the season, there has been a lot of talk about Brady’s lack of options in the receiving game. He still has Rob Gronkowski and James White, but only Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie Riley McCarron on the receiver depth chart.
It’s not a great group on paper, but Brady is confident that the unit will get the job done.
“To be on this team you have to be a good football player. The guys out there, I certainly have a lot of confidence in them. We’re all going to be learning on the fly and you have to build as the season goes. Every week we want to build on things.” he said. “There is no way to replicated what we’re about to go up against, and that’s why you have to go through it. We’ll see where we’re at. … There’s no other place I’d rather be Sunday at 1 o’clock than playing here and playing well.”
Tune in to Patriots-Texans Sunday afternoon on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, and after the game catch Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conferences LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter!