Foxboro -- Tom Brady has been through a lot in his career and few players can deal with adversity better. In 2001, his first year playing his QB coach Dick Rehbein died, his third year a captain and close friend Lawyer Milloy was released just before the season, his sixth year he lost his favorite receiver Deion Branch, his seventh year Spygate and a crushing Super Bowl loss after an 18-0 season, his 8th year he tore his ACL, a car accident his 10th year, his 16th year he was suspended four games because of deflated footballs. So the loss of Josh Gordon might not be a blip on Brady's radar.
"There wasn’t much reaction," said Brady when he heard the news that Gordon was being suspended.
The quarterback spoke for only four plus minutes on Friday and seemed irritated about the Gordon noise. Brady said he feels bad for Gordon and that Gordon was a good teammate. Brady, however, wanted to remind anxious fans and press that there were another 52 players on the roster. It might have felt like to Brady he has gone through that many receivers this season. Josh Gordon's locker was next to Brady's and now he has departed. There was a time that Randy Moss had his locker next to Brady's. Moss was eventually traded. Brady has had many players next to him in the locker room. Brady knows, though, that the one constant in the NFL is change.
Brady doesn't like excuses. He knows teammates have family issues, but he expects teammates to forget about those issues when they arrive at Gillette Stadium.
"There’s a lot of those different types of feelings and emotions over the course of the year. We all have lives that exist outside of this building and there’s a lot of support from everyone and everyone goes through different things over the course of the year," Brady said.
"We’ve certainly faced our fair share of adversities and I think part of that’s mental toughness and when you actually go out on the field and in meetings and so forth, you just focus on what you have to do, what your role is, what your job is. I think we’ve done a good job of that so we’re just working through the week and realizing that it’s obviously a huge game, big opportunity for us. It’s one we’ve got to win so that’s – been talking about that all week," Brady said.
Brady also noted that players need to be mentally tough when they play in the NFL. Brady said he learned about Josh Gordon's suspension yesterday morning when Coach Bill Belichick told the team. Brady didn't have advance notice.
"I mean, I have no idea. I have no idea. Like I said, I showed up. I heard just like everyone else," Brady said.
Brady has become use to the unexpected.
"The reality is, it could happen like the first play of the game too, you know? Someone might sprain an ankle and next thing you know, guys are adjusting. That’s just part of the nature of playing a long time, is you realize that things happen very quickly and they change very quickly. We lost Jeremy Hill the first game of the year. You think you’ve got all this running back depth, next thing you know, guys get hurt. It’s two weeks in, you’re like, “Holy cow, what happened?” And that’s just part of playing and being mentally tough," Brady said.
No. 12 is surely focused on the Buffalo Bills and nothing else.