BOSTON (CBS) — The center. The quarterback. It’s a special relationship, the likes of which most people can’t truly understand unless they’ve been a part of one. So for David Andrews, the departure of Tom Brady from New England — after a year when Andrews couldn’t play due to blood clots — had to have stung a little bit extra.

While moving on to a new quarterback in 2020 won’t be easy, Andrews hung on to the positive memories with Brady when speaking to the media on Tuesday.

“Obviously Tommy is who Tommy is. What a great experience it was to get to play with him,” Andrews said on a video conference. “Appreciative of him, our friendship that we have. It was kind of the longest quarterback I’ve ever played with in any stage of my career. It’s always a special bond and we’ll remain friends for life.”

Combined with the retirement of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, it figures to be a big season of change for veterans returning to the Patriots’ offense. Yet Andrews leaned on the continuity along the offensive line, plus the experience of coaches Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo who will be familiar faces stepping up to fill the void left by Scarnecchia.

As for how to navigate the waters of being a leader on the Patriots in a post-Tom Brady world, Andrews relied on a tried-and-true method that’s worked for quite some time in Foxboro.

“I think you don’t do anything out of the ordinary. I think leadership sometimes can be, you can see through it if there’s some BS in it. Be who you are, do what got you here. Just do it better and do it more,” Andrews said. “So I think it’s just, it is what it is. It’s being in the NFL. It’s part of this business. I don’t think you have to … there doesn’t need to be a Superman anywhere. We just need to go out and do our job collectively as a group, and provide leadership even if [Brady] was here or wasn’t here.”

Andrews said he’s worked plenty with Brian Hoyer, and he did manage to get in some work with Jarrett Stidham last year in the spring and summer. Now entering his sixth season as a pro, Andrews said he expects a big step forward for Stidham in his second year. As for gaining a comfort level with the young QB, Andrews said the two spent plenty of time together last year, even if it wasn’t on the field.

“Jarrett’s a great kid. I was still able to, especially during the season at times, we would hang out a lot. Whatever quarterback’s in that room I try to build a bond with him,” Andrews said. “Whoever’s been in there you try to build a bond, because it’s obviously one play away from anyone playing. That’s just the way it is.”

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