Brady ready to put Pats back in positive light

Brady ready to put Pats back in positive light
July 25, 2013, 1:15 pm
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FOXBORO – The Aaron Hernandez Case has taken a psychic toll on New England and the Patriots.
 
The region and the team perceives itself in a certain light. Now, for the past six weeks, both entities have had to reconcile the fact that a person they cheered for or were teammates with has been arrested and accused of murder.
 
Who got what wrong? What will the “neighbors” (the media, fans from other cities) think or say? How could everyone have been oblivious to it? What the hell does it matter what an employee does while not on the team’s watch?
 
All these have been topics wrestled with.
 
And Tom Brady on Thursday spoke about the difficulty of seeing an organization that came to represent something special put into a negative light.
 
“I think that everyone that has played here has played a part of what the New England Patriots are all about – guys like Kevin [Faulk] and Rodney [Harrison] and Larry [Izzo] and Mike [Vrabel] and Willie [McGinest], guys like that who are everything you want to be as a football player and off the field and on the field, people that represent the community and represent our city, Foxborough, Boston and everywhere in between,” said Brady. “We realize that in light of the recent situation, those things get overshadowed and we have to work hard to re-establish what we’re all about, and that’s, like we said, to win games and to be the best representatives of this team and organization and representatives for this city that we can possibly be.”  
 
The notion of a “Patriot Way” that’s taken root over the past decade or so has been bastardized to mean “better, smarter and more stable than the rest.
 
When Brady was asked if the “Patriot Way” still exists, he gave his own definition of it.
 
“To win football games and represent the community? No question. I think that’s what we show up for every day here,” Brady stated. “Boston has a strong sense of community and that’s one part of the reasons why people, and I love being here, why this is my home.
 
“The community that exists, especially within the sports franchises. It brings so many people together. We’ve had such great success on the field over the last 12-13 years in all of our teams,” Brady continued. “So many people come out and support us. You’re in the community and you’re at the shopping mall and you’re at the gas station, and people are supporting you. It’s really a great thing to be a part of, to have that kind of support from everyone here. That’s who we go out and play for – we play for the people that come watch us and cheer for us and buy our jerseys. That’s a really cool thing and hopefully we can come out and do the same thing this year.”
 
In order to do so, Brady said, the people who are not part of the team anymore can’t be regarded as having any impact at all on what will happen.
 
“The fate of our season will be determined by the guys in the locker room, hopefully nothing else,” he insisted. “I think we’ve always made a strong commitment to that. To me, the Patriot Way means mental toughness and dealing with different situations and adversities over the course of a season and offseason and how you can put those things behind you and focus on your job.
 
“I try never to be a distraction,” he added. “I think I owe that to my teammates to never be a person that someone has to comment on, that’s part of what coach talks about (being on one program). I think that’s the best example you can set as an elected captain and as a veteran player on the team, you come out and try to do your job the best way you can and hope the other guys follow around.”