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Brown on D&H: Brady’s ‘focus hasn’t changed’

07.29.10 at 3:29 pm ET
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Former Patriots receiver Troy Brown, who will be joining NFL Sunday on WEEI this football season, joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday to talk about what he does and doesn’t miss about training camp with New England, the status of the Tom Brady, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator position, and the team as a whole.

Following are highlights from the interview. To hear the full interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On training camp and conditioning for the Patriots:

I never came close to failing [a conditioning run] but I’ll tell you a funny story that I’ve never told anybody. I thought I was going to fail one year because I came to training camp, and I have my birthday July 2 and I have my birthday party like every July 4, July 2, or whatever it is. I picked up a table that has the leaves to it or whatever and I picked up one end of it and I didn’t have the bottom end secured, and I picked up end of it and the bottom end fell off and fell on my big toe and cut my big toe and I had to get four stitches in my toe like 10 days before training camp started. … I had to modify my shoe and cut the big toe area out so I would be able to run. But I couldn’t train for like those 10, 11 days up until I got to do the running test and I was so concerned about passing the test, but I think my adrenaline carried me through that situation and got me through it.

On what the regimen was:

That particular year when [Bill] Parcells and Pete Carroll were in town, everything was run by Johnny Parker. His conditioning test was you had to run three, 300-yard shuttles — that’s running 50 yards and back, 50 yards and back, 50 yards and back. … The receivers and guys like myself that were either the running backs or the defensive backs, we had to do it in 56 seconds. It could be quite challenging sometimes. Especially some of the bigger guys that had to do it in 60 seconds. And every year there was probably one or two people that failed that test.

It was always pretty funny in the meeting afterward because Parcells would be like, “Well we released Bruce Walker today, and I guess you could say got released two times in one day.” Because he got released from the hospital for passing out. Then he got released from the team later on that day once they found out he was OK.

On the Patriots’ 2001 season:

We just had a lot of guys that knew how to play. David Patten, myself, Terry Glenn was injured in 2001. We lost him and we got even better after losing him and we just kept going and going as the season went on because we had a lot of guys that were hungry. … We just kept giving on that and giving on that and got better and better as the time went on and we were well coached, we were ready for a lot of different situations that came up that a lot of teams probably wouldn’t have been ready for, and I give credit to the coach on that because we knew we were ready when a situation came up, we performed, we had good practices in practice, so that’s what went well with us.

On Tom Brady following all the offseason talk about his contract and commitment:

Well, I don’t think much of it at all. I thought the guy’s spending time with his kids and his family, what do you expect him to do? What he did, you have to look at the important stuff that he’s looking to be in, as far as the team functions he was supposed to be at, he was there for the drills and some of the conditioning stuff, and he was there, and he was just going to spend time with his family and his kids. … He’s not the only person in the league that has a family and kids that want to spend time with him.

People were saying he was losing his focus and he was doing this, he’s married to a super model. So what? The guy comes ready to play every single year. And obviously when you have a wife and a family and kids, you spend less time at the facility. It doesn’t mean he’s not going home and watching tapes. He’d rather be in a room sitting there with his kids, watching tape or whatever with his wife there watching tape, and spend some quality time with them. To me, I think that’s much easier for him when he comes to work because he’s not worried about, “I haven’t spent any time with my kids during the week” and this and that. He’s able to focus on his job. … That’s the part of it. Everybody goes through it, everybody does it and I don’t think his focus has changed. Tom knows what he means to the football team. He knows everybody’s looking to him. … He knows how important he is to it.

The contract stuff, you know, to everybody else it’s just between Tom and Bill [Belichick] and whoever’s doing the contact stuff with him. … He could possibly have several million dollars riding on that one hit [that leads to an injury]. So, who could blame him for not thinking it’s best to get a contract done before he steps out on the football field?

On a potential defensive coordinator for the Patriots, besides Matt Patricia and Pepper Johnson:

I like all those guys. … Matt Patricia’s a very bright guy, he’s a very defensive guy. I think he’s done a great job with that linebacking coordinator over there. And I just think Corwin Brown, and I could be a little biased, I played with Corwin here at New England, we got drafted in the same year. And everybody knows what Corwin’s outlook was for his career. He was saying he was going to get in and play a little while as much as he could, but while he was playing, he was also growing himself to be a coach with the NFL. And he got a break with Charlie Weis to go down there and be a defensive coordinator with Notre Dame for a few years and I think he’s done a good job there with what he had to work with.

And you know Corwin’s been doing this throughout his entire career, he did it with the Jets when he went down with Parcells. He worked with special teams coaches. … So he’s been grooming himself to get ready for this time. Nobody can say he doesn’t have any experience to be a defensive coordinator because he has been there already. He hasn’t been there in the NFL yet but he has played under Bill Belichick. Who better to train under than that, to learn under than that? I just think, that’s just my opinion. I think the guy’s ready for the job. … I just think he would be a great pick for the job, and what better way to do it than to go with Corwin Brown, a younger guy, who can make some of the players better off?

On Bill Belichick’s involvement on the offensive team and game planning:

I’d say with Charlie [Weis], you really didn’t see [Belichick] as much in the team meeting room doing stuff with the offensive guys. He would always come over and give you a few pointers about a few guys and a few things, but you saw him a little bit more when Josh McDaniels got the offensive coordinating job. You saw him a little bit more come in and do a few things, but it really wasn’t like he was overbearing on Josh there. He wasn’t like a dominant presence in the room all the time, in the meeting room.

I think more of his stuff probably took place with those guys behind closed doors when you have more of his opinion. But you would see him kind of talking to Josh a little bit more than you would’ve seen him talking to Charlie. I’m pretty Josh thinks some of that helps, too, because, I mean, Charlie’s been around the game for a long time, been around Bill for a long time and had been doing it for a lot longer than Josh had been doing it.

He didn’t really come in and he wasn’t that overbearing presence that you might see from other guys that would be out there trying to run the town meeting. But he would come in and do a few things from time to time and show a few clips of how he wanted things done. But for the most part it wasn’t like he was trying to run the entire show like everybody says he does.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Troy Brown,
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