FOXBOROUGH — Apart from the flecks of gray hair that seemed to sprout from the stubbly growth on his face, Tom Brady didn’t give any indication he was ranking graybeard of the Patriots training camp after putting yet another practice session — the team’s seventh in eight days — in the books.
Now in his 15th training camp with the team, Brady, who will turn 37 on Sunday, was asked how he still managed to maintain the youthful exuberance he had in his 20s.
“I think I owe it to my teammates to bring the enthusiasm and energy every day,’’ Brady said after wrapping up the workout Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “So there are no days off for the quarterback. I think we try to set a great example. You know, I learned that from the guys I played with my whole career, whether it was at Michigan or whether it was Drew Bledsoe or Damon Huard or all the guys I’ve taken something from.
“I’ve been lucky to do something I really love to do, and I’d love to keep doing it, so that’s a really great motivation for me to keep coming out.’’
After all, Brady knows of no other place than the gridiron that could possibly come close to satisfying his fiery competitive nature.
“I mean, where else in the world would I rather be?’’ he said. “This is lot better than any cubicle I could think of. It’s a pretty good office.’’
A fierce battle
The presence of newly acquired Pro Bowl cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, who Thursday intercepted Brady as the offense was backed up to its own goal line, and Brandon Browner, who has engaged second-year receiver Kenbrell Thompkins in one of the camp’s fiercest 1-on-1 competitions, has only served to sharpen the instruments in Brady’s tool box.
“They’re both great players,’’ Brady said of Revis and Browner. “When you make a mistake, they make you pay. I think that’s the mark of a really good corner. As a quarterback, you try to find the weak link in the defense and neither of those guys are weak links.
“So, sometimes we got to go after them, sometimes we try to make a play, but like I said, if you miss a little bit, they end up making the play. So it’s great work for us, and [helps] you understand what you’re up against.’’
Thompkins was the surprise of last year’s training camp and rookie running back James White, a fourth-round draft choice (130th overall) out of Wisconsin, seems to have earned that distinction this year.
White, a compact 5-foot-10-inch, 205-pounder, has shown dazzling versatility running tough between the tackles, showing speed on the perimeter, and making catches with his soft hands out of the backfield. It has earned White several repetitions, some of which seemed to come at the expense of Brandon Bolden, who entered camp with an uncertain future on the roster.
“He’s done a great job since he’s got here,’’ Brady said of White, who amassed 4,015 yards and scored 48 touchdowns in his four years in Madison, Wis., rushing for a career-high 1,444 yards and 13 TDs on 221 carries as a senior. “I think he’s got a real maturity for someone who is just getting out of college. He’s made a lot of really great plays out here.’’
White, for his part, has taken it all in stride.
“I feel good,’’ he said. “I’m still learning and I’m trying to get better every day and learn from the coaching staff and learn from the veterans.’’
White was unceremoniously welcomed to the NFL on his first day of full pads Saturday when he was leveled by Browner as he was carrying the ball off tackle during an offensive drill. “Yeah, he got a good hit on me,’’ White said with a laugh. “You just got to bounce back and focus on the next play.’’
Law to join team’s Hall
The Patriots will induct former cornerback Ty Law into the team’s Hall of Fame Friday afternoon in a 4:30 p.m. ceremony to be held at the plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place. “I think it’s great, it’s really cool the way the Hall of Fames have been held the last few years and some really great players have gone in there,’’ Brady said. “And Ty’s one of the best that I’ve played against. He has a great, unique style of play. He’s another one of those guys who really made quarterbacks pay. He’s a unique playmaker and I had a lot of experience going against him when I was younger and he made a lot of plays for us in big games, so it’s cool to see him go in.’’ . . . Former running back Kevin Faulk, who will be in attendance at Law’s induction, was a visitor to camp yesterday as were several members of the Harvard football team and Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield and first base coach Arnie Beyeler . . . The team will hold a special practice Friday night at Gillette Stadium for its season ticket-holders.