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Thursday, May 28, 2009
Brady on McDaniels, Vrabel: 'It's part of the game'


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Much has changed with the New England Patriots since Tom Brady last commanded a huddle.

Josh McDaniels sent in the plays. Jabar Gaffney was the No. 2 receiver. Outside linebacker Mike Vrabel and safety Rodney Harrison were chirping away.

After Brady's breathlessly anticipated unveiling Thursday on the upper practice field next to Gillette Stadium, he met with a gaggle -- or is that a murder? -- of reporters and covered a lot of topics.

Because he hadn't faced a legitimate group interview session since the 2008 preseason, we haven't had his reaction to many team developments. Here are some snippets on the comings and going in Foxborough:

On McDaniels' departure to become Denver Broncos head coach:

Tom Brady: "Josh and I had a great relationship, and that's part of the NFL. Things change every year. There's 13 new head coaches, and he's one of them. I hope that we find ways to move on without him. We've already started that process, and it doesn't stop for anybody around here. You leave, someone else fills your spot, and they're anxious for the opportunity, and we've got to work hard to get up to speed on everything. The coaches that are in that role are doing that."

On practice being quieter without Vrabel:

TB: "You guys noticed that, too? Yeah, Vrabel, Rodney [Harrison], there's definitely not as much noise. We miss those guys. We love those guys. They're great friends, and we wish them well."

On his reaction to Vrabel being traded:

TB: "I'm not surprised by anything anymore. It's part of this game. It's part of the league, and I know Mike's happy to have a job. We're all happy to have a job. Mike's a great friend of all of ours and we miss him, and I know he misses us. But if we ever play Kansas City, we'll want to beat the crap out of him."

On the free-agency additions of receiver Joey Galloway and running back Fred Taylor:

TB: "I think it's great. I love having veteran players come in to this team because they have the experience and they know football and they know the language and terminology, and
the learning curve is so much more accelerated for them.

"It's challenging in our offense for a young player because there's a lot that we do. It changes every week, especially as a receiver, you might be in one spot one day and another spot on another, and there's route that we call and there's three different variations to the route based on the coverage. It's tough. So when you have a veteran player, he's like, 'OK, I get that. This is what we're going to do.' When you have a rookie, he's trying to make sure he gets to practice on time.

"When you have Fred, who's excited and he's run the plays, now he's just got to learn our terminology versus the terminology he's known. He's excited. He feels excited to be here. That youth comes out in him. I think we're going to get hopefully the best out of he and Joey. And Greg Lewis, I don't know if you guys saw the catch he made today, but that was ridiculous. I told him that was the one he caught in the Super Bowl."