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Tom Brady admits his own mortality: ‘This could be your last training camp, you never know’

07.24.14 at 3:36 pm ET
By

FOXBORO — Tom Brady is on record as saying that he would like to play into his 40s.

But on the first day of his 15th NFL training camp, Brady discussed his own football mortality after his first practice of 2014 training camp.

“It goes pretty fast, so I just think you appreciate it,” Brady said, just a 10 days shy of his 37th birthday. “There are very few people who have the opportunity that I have, and I’€™m very appreciative of it. You never know when the last one is going to be, so you just appreciate the moments that you have. Every year, it’€™s something different. This could be your last training camp; you never know. So you’€™ve got to make it count, and you can’€™t take anything for granted in the NFL. I try to do the best I can for this team and hope it leads to a great year.”

Hoping for another “great” year, Brady was on the field working with the receiving corps that figures to be catching the bulk of passes from him this season, including Rob Gronkowski, who was limited to cuts and catching short end zone passes in red zone drills.

“It feels great. I’€™m excited to be out here with my teammates and working to get better,” Brady said. “It’€™s a long training camp. I think we’€™ve got to string a lot of good days together to be the team that we want to be. It’€™s just going to be a lot of effort, a lot of work. There’€™s no easy way about it. You’€™ve just got to grind, put the work in, listen to the coaches, try to make improvements, and hopefully when we start the season we’€™ll be a lot better of a team than we are now.”

Speaking of Gronkowski, Brady said he was pumped to see No. 87 on the field.

“The more guys we have out here healthy, the better we’€™re going to be,” he said. “Everyone is working with whatever situation they’€™re in. You could be coming off injury, [or] you could be coming off a good offseason. Everyone is starting at the same place. It’€™s the first opportunity to put shoulder pads on, and now the real physical aspect of the sport comes out. In the offseason, when it’€™s just shorts and tee shirts and you’€™re throwing the ball, it’€™s about a quarter of the game. So we’€™re going to see what we’€™re made of, and we’€™ve got a lot of big tests ahead.

“We always try to bring it, regardless of who is out there. If he’€™s not out there, then we still have to find a way to do it, and I think really that’€™s a lesson that we’€™ve learned. You’€™ve got to try to win, no matter who is out there. You’€™ve got to try to compete at a high level. When you have great players like that that are on the field, it helps you a lot. Your margin of error goes up. But you’€™ve got to prepare for both. We’€™ve had different times over the offseason where certain guys have been in there, certain guys haven’€™t, but I don’€™t think the expectations have changed. You’€™ve still got to go out and execute the play the best way you know how to and try to do it at a high level on a consistent basis.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Gronk, New England Patriots, Rob Gronkowski
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