FOXBORO -- Tom Brady met with reporters following Patriots training camp practice on Friday, his first such meeting since he announced on Facebook that he would no longer pursue his legal battle against the NFL.
After fighting Deflategate in court since the 2015 offseason, Brady indirectly accepted his league-imposed four-game suspension when he decided officially to remove himself from the judicial process. The first question he was asked was, in essence, simple: Why stop?
"It was just a personal decision," he said. "I try to come out here and just focus on what I need to do to get better and help our team, and like I said, I’ll be excited to be back when I’m back. I’ll be cheering our team on and hope we go out and win every game . . .
"I think it’s just personal. I’ve tried to move on from it. I try to just, like I said, focus on the positive, being here with my teammates and getting better. You don’t want to go out and do anything but try to be a great example for your teammates. We’ve got a lot of competitive guys that have been out here on the practice field, and I think that’s where the focus needs to be."
Given that Brady will miss meaningful regular-season snaps for the first time since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008, Brady was asked how he'll deal with the ban. As part of the punishment, he will not be allowed to visit the team's facility or contact team personnel to discuss football matters.
"I’ve tried to just be as positive as I can be," Brady said. "I think that’s kind of always been my motto. I know over the course of my career, I’ve been faced with different things and I’ve tried to overcome them the best way I could or the best way I knew how. I’ll try to do the same thing. I just want our team to go out there and play really well. I think we’ve had really good competition, trying to push each other so that we’re ready to go. It’s tough competition, the NFL. Every team is working real hard this time of year and we can’t take any days off. We have to go out there and try to work on something every day. Everyone has to be ready to go."
As for what he'll do while he's suspended -- will he work out with former teammates to stay sharp? -- Brady said that's still to be determined. For now, he's just focused on practices like Friday's, when he went 25-for-25 in a scrimmage against team led by his replacement for the first four weeks of the season, Jimmy Garoppolo.
"I’ll deal with that when it comes," he said. "I could have a plan and then change the plan, I really don’t know. I’m really focusing on every day and trying to get better. One of my coaches said, ‘Look, you’ve just got to get better every day,’ and that’s where my focus has been.
"These days are important for me, they’re important for every guy on this team to get better and make the improvements. Collectively, it’s a long season. We’ve got a good, competitive team. Like I said, I’m just going to be rooting for us to win every game that we’re playing that I’m not in, and certainly when I’m in I hope we win every game, too."