Tom Brady caught his fair share of heat last week for telling fans to "start drinking early" to ensure a raucous Gillette Stadium in the Patriots' 35-21 win over the Chargers.
The team worked to downplay those comments, and it was another example of something Brady already knows. Anything he says will be blown out of scope -- one reason Brady's become as savvy a messenger as any around the NFL.
"I don't often say exactly how I feel. And I don't often say exactly what I think. Because you don't want to cause controversy," Brady said in an interview during Westwood One's broadcast of Monday Night Football, via Larry Brown Sports."When there is controversy, all your teammates start getting asked about 'What Brady said.' Really, it becomes a distraction to the team. You're trying to get ready for an important game on the weekend, and then now, on Thursday and Friday, the only thing that people want to talk about is some comment the quarterback on your team made.
"When that happens, I feel bad and a certain responsibility to my teammates that, in some way, I let them down. That they have to be cleaning up a mess that I made for the rest of the team. And that's never a position that I want to put my teammates in because we have too many other things to worry about."
If Rex Ryan told Jets fans to get hammered at MetLife? Just another day at the office. Brady's comments were magnetized because he leads a franchise that prides itself on keeping a lid on its affairs. It's part and parcel of the Patriot Way. If one of the early knocks on Bill Belichick -- especially during his up-and-down stint with the Browns -- was his tight-lipped, distanced approach to sharing information, well, it's helped New England keep its house in order for more than a decade.
For the record, we don't view Brady's riling up of the fan base a big deal -- as if the greater Boston area ever needed his permission or encouragement to tie one on.