FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady was soft-spoken and thoughtful Thursday as he met with about 50 media members.
Given the circumstances surrounding the New England Patriots this summer, clearly, this wasn’t your typical training camp quarterback interview.
In the wake of former tight end Aaron Hernandez’s arrest on a murder charge, and a day after his coach, Bill Belichick, addressed the matter, Brady said Thursday the Patriots must work hard to “re-establish what we’re all about.”
“It’s been a challenging offseason,” he said as New England opened camp. “But we’re going to try to move forward as best we know how.”
Brady talked at length for the first time since Hernandez’s name surfaced in connection with the shooting death of Boston semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd on June 17. Hernandez was arrested on June 26 and cut by the Patriots before he was charged that afternoon. He is being held without bail after pleading not guilty.
“Certainly, it’s a very tragic thing that happened and someone loses their life,” Brady said during a 17-minute session on the team’s practice field, “but all those things were out of the players’ control here. We’re not really a part of that situation.”
He declined to answer several questions, saying he had been advised not to. They included whether he had spoken with Hernandez or whether Hernandez had apologized to him after the tight end was linked to the investigation.
During Hernandez’s three seasons since being drafted by the Patriots, he was one of Brady’s top receivers.
Asked if he thought he knew Hernandez, Brady said, “the relationship that you have as a football player, the relationship you have within the walls of (Gillette Stadium) are what they are and then people have their own life.”