Brady excited to get back to football after bye

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Brady excited to get back to football after bye

Not a whole lot of football to be discussed after a bye week, but Tom Brady did his weekly interview on the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI this morning and discussed a potpourri of topics.

First, a little bit of football.

"It will be fun to get back to football," Brady said. "It feels weird, you know. It's hard to stop your mind from thinking about the game. It's impossible to do that when all these other teams are playing. So, you just kind of get a little bit of rest while you can, and we're back to work today. It will be fun to get started on Buffalo."

Brady explained that he's always thinking of ways to make himself a better quarterback, whether there's a game later that week or not. As he described his obsession with his own self-improvement, he cited a documentary he saw recently.

"I saw a great documentary this weekend on the airplane, it was called . . . I don't even know how to pronounce his name . . . it was this Japanese sushi chef that I would encourage you guys to see it," said Brady, who couldn't quite remember the title "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."

"But he's 85 years old and the only thing he ever wanted to do was make sushi . . .  It was just his life-long commitment to being really great at what he loves to do. And he's 85 and still doing it. It's just amazing the commitment that it takes to do that.

"You think, 'Man, it's just simple, throwing a football or making a piece of sushi, how hard can that be?' " Brady added. "When it's something that you just love to do, you think about it. You wake up in the night and think about mechanics. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what I can do better -- my foot stride and where my arm is and what I'm doing with the front side of the body.

"For some people it may be crazy to think that," Brady said. "But for me, that's just what I've always loved to do . . . I always seek my improvement from improving my mechanics so that every throw I make is absolutely perfect. It's exactly where I wanted to throw the ball and exactly the amount of velocity I wanted to put on the ball. Those are the types of things that I think about in my off time. That's what I was meant to do."

Here a few of the other topics Brady hit on in his interview:

What would he do if his pregnant wife were to go into labor on a game day?
"That's such a hypothetical," he said. "That's such an un-Belichick question. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. There's nothing more important than that, but there's also nothing more important than my job, and I've got a lot of people that are counting on me. Hopefully, that's not the case.

"Whenever it happens, it's meant to happen. She's prepared. She's got to do all the work, not me."

On Peyton Manning's successful return to football
Thats what great players do," he said. "Theres a consistent level of high performance and its no mystery. He works his butt off and Ive seen it first hand ... He loves the game and he loves to prepare, he pushes his teammates and he gets the best out of them.

On the state of his social life
"When you meet people, you don't want to be a jerk," said Brady, who will be at Aerosmith's free concert today on Commonwealth Avenue. "I remember those experiences when I was a young person. I got to meet 49ers star Dwight Clark and I got to meet Jeffrey Leonard, the Giant baseball player, and Chili Davis. I remember each of those experiences very well. When you're on the other end of that -- for me, I'm trying to go through just a day, and I feel like I've always felt. But sometimes you just want to make sure you have enough energy to deal with being a nice person. Because you don't always want to be a nice person. Sometimes you just want to be yourself. If I want to be myself, then I just stay in or do something private.

"I don't go out much anymore. I rarely do things. And I think that's probably the only thing -- you get a little bit accustomed to being a little bit of a loner. Because during the football season I need my energy for my teammates and for the game. Some people can go out and do things and be in public a lot and really get a lot of energy from that. For me, it's a bit draining. So, I just tend to be more of a loner. I just don't do much. I wish I could. I wish I could be out there. In some ways you get a bit anti-social and you get in the habit of being anti-social. It's hard to be social again, too. Because you're not used to going out and doing a lot of things."

"There was a time where I enjoyed the things that Gronk enjoys, too -- going out and being a free spirit and traveling around and enjoying a little bit of the limelight," Brady said. "For me, that wears off. Now this is a career and it's a life, and I have a family. There's a lot of commitments that are required of you that I really enjoy, but also, those are the priorities. There's more responsibility now just waking up in the morning than there was when I was 23 or 24. When that's the case for me, then you've got to begin to prioritize: What are the things that are important for me today? Especially during the football season, my job, there's nothing more important than that. As a leader and as a captain of the team I have to bring the energy and emotion to the field every day in practice. And I can't do that and be out at 9 o'clock at night or go to bed at 11 o'clock at night and think that's what I can be. My commitment a lot of the time is to my teammates and my football season.

"As you're a veteran player, you realize every year you're one step closer to the end. So, this is the year, this is the year you've got to think about. Because you don't know if there's ever going to be a next year."

What would he do if he was not a quarterback?
"I don't know," he said. "I was thinking about that this weekend, to tell you the truth. I don't know. I've never been forced to think about those things. Whatever I would have been, I would have brought the same characteristics to that profession, I know that. I was blessed with a work ethic. And that's something that is God-given, to me. I'm glad. It's really easy for me to go out to the gym for a few hours. It's really easy for me to go out to practice. I don't ever despise those things. That's something that I really enjoy doing.

"I'm lucky that I've never had to work a day in my life, to tell you the truth . . . I got the profession that I wanted to be, and there's not even a close second."

Who is he voting for on Tuesday?
"I'd rather not say," he said. "But I love this country. This is the greatest country in the world. When we're in places like London, and I talk to some of my teammates like Germany native Sebastian Vollmer, and I'm married to a woman from Brazil -- this is a great country.

"I hope we make the right decision. I don't know if there is a right decision. I always think that it starts with us. It's hard to expect one person to change the lives of 300 million. The change starts within all of us. I think that's more the message that I always try to talk to whoever I'm talking to about politics, that we're the ones that make the changes. Don't always look on the outside. At least, that's what I learned from football."

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

Blakely: Thomas isn't a starter, but new All-Star voting is an improvement

BOSTON – There’s certainly some disappointment among Celtics Nation that Isaiah Thomas just missed out on being an All-Star starter in the East.

But one thing we can certainly see with the new voting system … it works way better than the old way of choosing starters.

This was the first year that the NBA decided to allow current NBA players as well as a select panel of media choose who the starting five in the Eastern and Western Conferences would be.

The fan vote would count for 50 percent while media and players would each represent 25 percent of the final tally.

From there, the players would receive a fan ranking, a media ranking and a player ranking.

Because of the aforementioned breakdown – fans count for 50 percent while media and players represent 25 percent of the vote – the fan ranking would be counted twice while the media and player rankings would be counted once.

Let’s look at Isaiah Thomas’ situation which ultimately came down to him and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan for the final starting spot in the backcourt.

Thomas was fourth in the fan voting, second in the player voting and first among guards in the media voting. So when you add the fan voting (4 *2) + player voting (2 *1) + media voting (1*1), you get a total of 11 which is then divided by 4 to arrive at a score of 2.75.

Now let’s look at DeRozan.

He was third in the fan voting, third in the player ranking and second in the media voting among guards. So his score when you add the fan voting (3*2) + player voting (3*1) + media voting (2*1), you get a total of 11 which when divided by 4 brings you to a score of 2.75 – same as Thomas.

The tiebreaker was the fan vote which meant DeRozan and not Thomas, would get the starting nod in next month’s All-Star game.

As much as it may suck that Thomas lost out because of this system, he would not have had a shot at being a starter under the old system in which the fans were the ones to pick starters.

In fact, it would have been Chicago’s Dwyane Wade in the starting lineup under the old system.

No disrespect to D-Wade, but he has not had an All-Star worthy season. And had the old system been in place, he would be an all-star and thus take up a roster spot of another player who frankly, is more deserving.

And if you take a glance out West, they too would have had a starter who has not had an All-Star caliber season.

Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia finished second in the voting among Western Conference forwards, fueled in large part to his home country, Georgia, voting early and often for him. Because of the media and player voting, Pachulia wound up sixth among Western Conference big men which is still too high when you consider some of the players behind him – Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan – who are all having better seasons.

While no one would say this new system is perfect, considering how this year’s voting would have panned out under the old rules, this change by the league is a good one that should stick around.

NOTE: I was among the media panelists selected by the NBA to vote for this year’s All-Star starters. My selections in the East were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Kevin Love and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the frontcourt with Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Boston’s Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt. My Western Conference selections were Kevin Durant of Golden State, Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio in the frontcourt, with Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook in the backcourt.