Tom Brady gets weary of the questions and comments about his age (36), and has made it clear he intends to play at least until there are 40 candles on his training camp birthday cake.
But if you’re looking for a sign Brady is fully aware of his football mortality, perhaps it is this: according to a league source, he had his receivers, including the rookies, out to California during the offseason for two weeks to start working with them.
He wanted to get to know them and start building trust with the many new players he’d be working with, including Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, and even Kenbrell Thompkins, who was undrafted.
“That’s the first time he’s ever done that — it shows you how important it is to him,” the source said, adding that Brady recognized he had to make it work with the players the Patriots acquired, since the departures of Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd and the unknown recovery timetable of Rob Gronkowski meant he had little choice.
Brady knows he has to be patient, particularly with the rookies, and he has been. But that doesn’t mean he’s taking it easy on them.
He has remained as demanding as ever. He is still the leader of the offense, and Brady needs everyone to understand what being a successful offense entails.
“That’s why he is who he is,” former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk said. “He understands. And it’s not just him understanding; the coaches understand. They’re going to be demanding, but they know what they have. They’re just going to keep pressing and pressing.”
Some of the players have caught on to the complexities of the system a little faster than others, but the receivers on the roster as New England prepares to start the regular season are off to good starts, which bodes well for their development.Shalise Manza Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung