Tom Brady addressed the media for the first time since he left the Patriots and signed with the Buccaneers.
Due to COVID-19 it was not a formal press conference, rather a conference call.
The quarterback was asked a few Patriots-related questions including one -- the last of the call -- of what it would have taken for him to stay with the Patriots. Brady did dodged it and spoke about the "emotional" transition of leaving the organization he spent 20 years with.
“Well, you know, again, I don’t want to talk about the past because that is not relevant to what is important in my future and what is going on this offseason for me," Brady said. "Like I said, I had nothing but two decades of an incredible experience learning from some of the best players and the best coaches and the ownership of the team.
“I think for all of us things in life can change and you have to be able to adapt and evolve. With each of those changes come different opportunities to learn and grow and that is where I am at.
“Any time you leave somewhere it is very emotional and I have had my — the transition I would say has been very emotional with a lot of guys that I have talked to that I have shared the field with. The relationships are what matter most to me. I am going to be friends with my teammates and my former teammates and coaches for the rest of my life. That is not going leave just because I am wearing a different jersey, but at the same time for me with the new jersey I am wearing, I am prepared to give them every bit of commitment I have had my entire career to be the best I can be to help this team be the best it can be.
“There’s not one person that makes a team. It is every single person doing their change every day that is committed and determined to be the best. I am a very disciplined quarterback. I try and follow through on the things I am committed to and I try and work every day to be the best I can be. That is what I am going to try and push my teammates to do. I am just excited to get started.”
Brady was asked when he ultimately knew he would not return to New England and he said it was last Monday night when he went to Robert Kraft's house and spoke to Bill Belichick and Jonathan Kraft, who were all in different locations. He referred to those as "great" conversations.
“It was really the night (last Monday) that I had stopped by and spoke with Mr. Kraft to ask if I could come over and see him," he said. "We spoke and we had a great conversation. I just wanted to express what he’s meant to me in my life and we spoke with Coach Belichick at the same time. We were in different locations. So we talked to him and it was a great conversation and got a chance to talk with Jonathan Kraft as well. All three of those guys have been involved in so many important decisions in my life — career-related, personal-related.
“I leave there with such great admiration for the people in that organization. It is a first-class organization in every way and I wanted to leave it that way, too. I know the Patriots will have a great team. They always do. They have great players, great leadership, great coaches. I certainly wish them the best.
“But, for me I have to transition and focus on the opportunity that I have to make the current situation I am in the best I possibly can. They hired me to do a job here and I am going to do it like you have always seen me do for a long time. Like the fans have always seen me do, the opposing coaches and my teammates have seen me do. I am going to give it everything I’ve got like I have done everything in my life for as long as I have been playing this sport.”
It's unclear when Brady will first get to work with his new teammates since the start of OTAs have been delayed due to the coronavirus, but Brady plans on attending -- something he hasn't done over the last two years.