Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Podcast: Bruschi on offseason
Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi recorded their first podcast of the 2013 season on Tuesday, which balanced all the issues from a turbulent offseason while also looking ahead to training camp.
A few soundbites from Bruschi:
On Aaron Hernandez. Bruschi speaks from two perspectives -- as a former player, and then as an analyst. As a former player, he says: "Emotionally, I still am around my house at times and I just feel sad. Sad that the image of the organization is what it is now, because it reflects directly upon the New England Patriots, on a team and a culture that I spent a lot of time trying to build. ... It's almost like that is forgotten now because of this offseason and what has happened with Hernandez ... As a former player, emotionally, I'm just extremely disappointed."
Need to return to roots on player signings. Bruschi reflects on some of the players signed during the championship run of the early 2000s, citing the likes of Otis Smith, Anthony Pleasant, Bobby Hamilton, David Patten etc. as "quality veteran guys." A player like Pleasant, for example, had character that was "unrivaled." Bruschi thinks more of those players need to be targeted. "Instead of getting experience and character, now they lean toward getting youth, speed and immaturity. That's where it has to change," he says.
Time for veterans to take ownership of team. Bruschi reflected on the character of some of the Patriots' championship teams he was a part of and how "it meant so much for us to win as a team and be there for each other." Looking ahead, Bruschi says: "Part of me wants to look at the locker room and say the leadership and the veterans in that locker room [need to be] doing a better job of being there for each other. The sign on the door – you hear it all the time ‘do your job, do your job, do your job.’ There comes a certain point when you’re a veteran and you’ve been told that so many times – you’ve been there for so long, you’ve done your job, you know how to do your job, so you have to take what Bill Belichick is teaching you to the next level. So for me, towards the end, it wasn’t just ‘do your job.’ It was ‘do your job and then help someone else do their job better.’ That encompasses everything. It encompasses locker room behavior, what you’re doing off the field, developing relationship with your teammates, being accountable for them on the field and off the field – getting to know them. When you form those relationships, and have those teams, that is when your team is the most strong. … Maybe some of these veterans need to learn that. ... If I were sitting in that locker room right now, and they asked me to speak in front of them, I would look all those veterans in the eyes and say 'Take more ownership of your team. Your voice needs to be just as loud as Belichick's. You own that team just as much as Robert Kraft. ... In your mind, in your soul, in your heart, own that team like it's yours.' That's the way I felt. Even though I'd be walking with the owner, or walking with the head coach, I felt like I could say anything, I felt like I could take responsibility for my team and tell them whatever I wanted to tell them, however I wanted to say it. Taking some of these goals too literally can be a problem. 'Ignore the noise, do your job' -- sometimes you have to listen to the noise and sometimes you have to make it stop. 'Do your job' -- help someone else do theirs, once you figure yours out. Taking it to that next level."