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Thursday, May 13, 2010
Koppen offers insight on Brady

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Patriots center Dan Koppen shared insight from inside the team’s locker room on how players view Tom Brady’s participation in the offseason program.

Prior to this week, Brady has been present for just two weeks.

“I think it’s an individual situation. Everybody has their different circumstances going on. Things change as your life goes. This is our job, but it’s not our family. Family is family and work is work. You just have to balance them. I think he does a great job of balancing and doing what he has to do with his family and being here," Koppen told reporters at Gillette Stadium when asked about the line for a player who is balancing family commitments and voluntary workouts.

“He’s here as much as he needs to be. If he needs to be here, he’d be here if he felt that. There is no one in that locker room that is sitting there saying ‘Tom should be there, he’s blowing us off.’ We all understand that people have things. A few guys are back in school graduating. What are you going to tell them, they can’t graduate? It’s one of those things. We know they are training. We know they are working hard. It doesn’t really affect what is going on right now.”

A few other quick hits from Koppen’s Q&A:

Rookies in next week. Koppen was asked his impressions of the team’s young offensive linemen from the draft. He said he hasn’t had a chance to get to know them, as they aren’t currently in town. Koppen said he thinks they are expected back next week.

Mental toughness. After quarterback Tom Brady said that the Patriots weren’t a mentally tough team in 2009, Koppen was asked how a team can improve that area in the offseason. He explained that part of it comes late in practices, when players are tired and they need to maintain the same high level of play. He said overall consistency, and avoiding the roller-coaster of ups and downs, is also crucial.