FOXBORO — Bill Belichick did what Bill Belichick typically does when asked about a topic he’d rather not touch upon. He went full Heisman. 

The topic, of course, was Tom Brady’s absence at the start of OTAs. 

“Yeah I’m not gonna talk about the people who aren’t here,” Belichick said Tuesday morning. “The guys who are here are improving and working hard.”

Tuesday marked the team’s second OTA practice of Phase Three. Brady did not participate in either of the first two phases of the offseason, which began in mid-April. 

Brady is not the only missing offensive captain. Rob Gronkowski has also not yet participated in any of the offseason workout program. 


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Still, Belichick went out of his way to praise the leadership that players -- both veterans and younger Patriots -- have provided during spring work. 

“We’ve had a lot of good leadership,” Belichick said. “Young guys taking more active roles. Also had some other guys like Julian [Edelman] and [Dont’a] Hightower, guys like that that didn’t play much last year, obviously (involved in) things now. New team. New year. We’ll take it one step at a time.”