Brady sets tone for Ochocinco, Haynesworth

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Brady sets tone for Ochocinco, Haynesworth

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran

FOXBORO - The assimilation of Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco into the Patriots way of doing things began in earnest Friday. The underlying message delivered by the most important Patriots player there's ever been?

No playeris more remarkable than anyone else. And nobody individual player is ever more remarkable than the team.

"You have to put the team first," Tom Brady said to a throng of media after Friday morning's practice. "The Troy Browns, the Tedy Bruschis and the Rodney Harrisons, those guys set a great example and it's an example that I learned from over the years. That's really what the veterans have tried to do here."

There's anidea that NFL players "take care of"rogue players in the locker room by threat of force. Alpha male crap. It's a myth. At least in this NFL.

A team's culture is diffused through incoming players not by injection but in an ooze. It's the tenor of teammates' comments, practice habits, locker room comportment and meeting room posture. It's the tempo of practice and the speed with which players move from drill-to-drill. More than anything else, does a team let things slide if they are "good enough" or do they freak with less than perfection?

Don't abide and you'll be minimized.

When a two-time league MVP and three-time Super Bowl champion works as hard as an undrafted free agent, the message is sent and often gets through. Bill Belichick has said that things are easier for the coaches when your best players are your hardest workers. Between Brady, Jerod Mayo, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Wes Welker and Devin McCourty, there are several messengers.

And the message to the new guys is, "Great to have you. Get comfortable. Don't act like you're more important than everyone else."

Theres been a lot of trades and a lot of transactions over the course of my career, so guys have come and gone, and Im always excited to get great players," said Brady. "Were all trying to find our role. Chads trying to find a role, the rookies are trying to find a role. The only way that were going to have a successful year, is if were out on the field practicing and executing at a high level."

Let's be honest here: it doesn't always work. Doesn't matter if it's Ocho or Steve Martin, or Monty Beisel or Chad Jackson, Donald Hayes or Johnathan Sullivan. Some guys don't get the operation or don't want to be a part of it.

Rarely does that player latch on somewhere else and find great success. Still, the point is that there are guys who just don't work out.

The chance exists that Ocho might be unable to accept the challenge of toning down his personal stuff. Or that he'll outwardly cry about touches. There's an even better chance that Haynesworth's conditioning will never catch up and he'll play like a dog when he does play.

But the best chance is that these players - liberated from being seen as "stars" and having someone tell them what to do - will accept it for a while.

I think coach Belichick sets an expectation for everybody," Brady pointed out. "He doesnt treat me any different than he treats a rookie whos coming out here for his second day of practice. Every time we walk in the building, theres four things listed. And every time we walk out, theres four things listed. The most important one is, doing our job."

So when I come in, its actually pretty easy," Brady admitted. "I follow the game plan that he puts up there. I think for each guy that comes in, they have to do the same thing. Its not, Hey, Toms got a different set of rules, Wes has a different set of rules. Everyone has the same set of rules.

There is no way to predict. It's really all guessing.

"Every player is different," Belichick said Friday. "There are no two players that are the same. There are no two players circumstances that are the same. There are no two of us that exist that are the same. Everything is different with each guy."

Ocho will tweet his love for Brady and act as if he's wandered into the NFL's Garden of Eden. Brady appreciates that and likes the enthusiasm. But it comes back to one thing, he said.

Hes just fun to be around. He loves football," Brady said of his new target. "I think thats why guys do well here. Because they love the game. They love to compete. They show up, and they want to win. To be a good player on this team, you have to put the team first."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

DID NOT PRACTICE
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
TE Ladarius Green (concussion)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)

FULL PARTICIPATION
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

Tom Brady speaks German in video with Sebastian Vollmer

Tom Brady speaks German in video with Sebastian Vollmer

Though neither has rivaled Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live stream, Tom Brady is having a big day when it comes to teammates posting videos of him. 

First, former teammate Vince Wilfork shared an ad for Intel in which he designed a graphic of Tom Brady. Shortly after on Wednesday afternoon, Pats offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer posted a video for NFL Deutschland called “Sea Bass’ School of Football” featuring the Patriots quarterback (video below). 

In the video, Vollmer, who was born and raised in Germany, tries to teach Brady how to give the German call of Brady’s 10-yard run in second quarter of the Patriots’ divisional round win over the Chiefs last postseason. Brady, as people speaking a language they don’t know are wont to do, struggles to say the correct words. He says “lightsaber” a few times and Vollmer gives him guff. It's not the funniest thing in the world, but it's a hell of a lot lighter than Brady's press conference Wednesday. 

Brady isn’t the first Patriot to appear in one of Vollmer’s videos. Rob Gronkowski did the first one in November and Danny Amendola did one that was posted last month.