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Tom Brady responds to criticism that he’s declining: ‘My wife [and] mom think I’ve played pretty good’

06.18.14 at 2:45 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Not that he needed it, but Tom Brady was given some inspiration recently when it was written that his game is on the decline and he is no longer among the very elite quarterbacks in the NFL.

On Wednesday, he fired back, sort of.

“I’m always pretty fired up,” Brady said after minicamp practice outside a steamy Gillette Stadium. “I think there’s people who always have opinions about us as athletes. You just try to go out there and do your best and you go home at night realizing you left it all out on the field. Some days you don’t play your best but that’s sports. I try to go out there and be the best I can be this year.

“Who were they? Jets fans or Dolphins fans or Patriots fans, I don’t know. Everyone is a little biased. My wife thinks I’ve played pretty good. My mom thinks I’ve played pretty good. It doesn’t matter.”

Sam Monson, of Pro Football Focus, wrote that Brady’s game has been “in decline” for some time.

At the end of Brady’s 10-minute session with reporters, he summarized his motivation and drive to stay on top of his game, bringing up his past, including his selection in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

“You’ve got to do it,” Brady said of his work and work ethic. “You’ve got to put in the time. If you want to be special at this game, then you’ve got to do whatever it takes. Some things come more naturally to certain people. The mental part came pretty naturally for me. I really had to work hard on the physical part [on] what it takes to be an NFL player. There was a reason I was sixth round pick because I didn’t have much ability so I’ve got to try to work hard to improve those things over the years while still keeping my mental game sharp.”

Brady also admitted that his Brazilian supermodel wife, Gisele, will be heading to her homeland to take in the World Cup. His plans are not quite as firm.

“I was watching, yeah. It’s been pretty fun to watch the last week or so,” Brady said. “There’s a lot of good games. We’re pretty focused on the football stuff here but obviously what’s going on in the world in sports is great. I love watching.”

“I’m not sure. I haven’t finalized everything. It’s a busy time. I have three kids at home. They take up a lot of time and energy. I know my wife is heading down there, which will be fun for her.”

Here’s more of Tom Brady from Wednesday’s session with reporters:

On his progress in minicamp this week:

“We’re just trying to get better and make improvements. Every year there’s different challenges, a lot of new players, a lot of new schemes were trying implement. We’ve had our good days and our bad days. Hopefully we can really build on them. Training camp starts pretty quickly. It’s that time of year where we’re ending the spring camps and really be quickly into the summer camp. I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for all of us.”

On working with Jimmy Garoppolo:

“I really enjoy working with him. I think he’s obviously a very talented young man. It’s been fun to be out here [with him]. He works hard every day. He’s been out here at practice. Ryan Mallett, one of my good friends, he’s missed a couple of days. We’ve got a good quarterback room. I think everyone displays good leadership and a good positive attitude. We try to be the ones that are held accountable for our actions. If the quarterback messes up it’s hard to make a good play. The more the quarterback can do the right thing on the field, whether that’s a ‘MIKE’ call or whether that’s anything involved with the scheme or the physical action of throwing the ball to the right guy in the right coverage and making the right read, that’s what playing quarterback is all about.

“That’s the role and responsibility for our team, is whoever plays that position has to take a strong leadership position. There’s no one else going to do it if the quarterback doesn’t do it. That’s a trait that all the good quarterbacks have. Jimmy has very good leadership skills.”

Read More: Gisele, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots, nfl
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