BOSTON (CBS) — Antonio Brown may have been a major talking point outside the walls of Gillette Stadium on Friday, but inside the locker room, mum’s the word.
A few hours after Bill Belichick cut his press conference short after facing one too many questions about Brown, quarterback Tom Brady opted to give his weekly press conference in front of his locker instead of at the podium.
Brady faced a series of questions about the receiver, who allegedly sent threatening texts to a woman who told Sports Illustrated that he had approached her while nude and holding only a small towel in his house. Brady offered no commentary on the matter.
“I’m just preparing like I always do,” Brady said when asked if all of the Brown headlines affect what the Patriots are trying to do on the field. “Trying to play well this weekend against the Jets, just doing what I can do and focusing on what I can focus on, control what I can control. I’m not here to do anything other than that except to get ready to play a game.”
Brady was asked how he focuses on football when the story about Brown tends to change regularly.
“I’m trying to focus myself on playing well, on doing what I gotta do to help the team win,” Brady replied. “Show up, be a good positive leader, bring a good, positive attitude. It’s football — it’s a very joyful place. You wake up getting the chance to play football, it’s my 20th year, it’s a great opportunity for me. It’s provided me a lot. And I get to go do it this Sunday.”
Brady was then asked if he has to intentionally avoid reading the headlines in order to keep the focus on football.
“Again, I’m just focused on the Jets and trying to think about what I need to do to help the team win,” he said. “That’s what this week’s been about for me. I’m sure next week it will be about the next opponent. So I’m just going to focus on playing quarterback, doing what I do, and trying to help us win.”
Despite the Patriots being favored by more than 20 points over the Jets, Brady doesn’t foresee the game as being an easy one.
“There’s never an easy game in the NFL. They’re all challenging,” he said. “They’re really good opponents. Well-coached. Lot of good players. I’ve been playing too long to look past an opponent. These guys are a good team, they always play it tough, and we’re expecting their best game.”
Before hit meeting with the media ended, Brady was asked one more question about new players entering the locker room with a clean slate.
“Again we’re just focused on being a good teammate and trying to provide positive leadership, a great working environment. People are all trying to get the best out of each other as players, and you develop different relationships. I’ve had a lot of great teammates over the years, a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame, in the Patriots Hall of Fame, guys that I learned from. And I think that I take that responsibility as a veteran leader and try to provide the same type of leadership.”
Tune in to Patriots-Jets on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. After the game, switch over to TV38 for all the reaction and analysis — including Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conferences LIVE — on Patriots 5th Quarter!
UPDATE: The Patriots released Antonio Brown from their roster on Friday afternoon.