- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The reigning AFC East champion New England Patriots will begin training camp on Friday amid plenty of controversy. This is the most tumultuous offseason New England’s had in the Bill Belichick era. It includes losing leading receiver Wes Welker in free agency, multiple surgeries for Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez being released after being charged for murder and five additional gun chargers.
With that in mind, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his first public comments about the Hernandez situation to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. According to Brady, it's time for the Patriots to move from the Hernandez situation.
“I’ve seen a lot of things over 13 years, and what I have learned is that mental toughness and putting aside personal agendas for what’s in the best interest of the team matters most. My job is to play quarterback, and I’m going to do that the best way I know how, because I owe that to my teammates regardless of who is out there on the field with me. I have moved on. I’m focusing on the great teammates I have who are committed to helping us win games. The only thing I care about is winning. Nothing is going to ever get in the way of that goal. I’m just excited to report to camp and see what we can accomplish as a team. The fate of our season will be determined by the players in our locker room — nothing else.”
Rest assured Brady was very disappointed and probably shocked by events involving Hernandez. But there's nothing Brady can do about it now.
Brady is taking the best approach to move forward and not make it an excuse or more of a controversy for the Patriots. The team already has enough adversity to overcome this season.