Tom BradySun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
Tom Brady

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

FOXBORO (AP) -- In packed stadiums, Tom Brady had one of his worst statistical seasons.

Behind the scenes, he's working hard to have a better one.

And, more importantly, carry the New England Patriots further -- to the Super Bowl -- than they went last season.

Brady has heard coach Bill Belichick stress throughout their 14 full seasons together "that whatever matters to you as an individual, it's far distant from what the team goals are," the quarterback said Monday.

Achieving those goals is a year-round pursuit with intense offseason preparation setting the stage for the regular season.

"What you're trying to establish this time of year is what kind of team you're going to be," Brady said during the Patriots third week of organized team activities.

"Who's willing to put it all on the line when there's really no glory in this? There's no glory in an OTA practice. There's no glory in the weight room or out there on the conditioning field, but it'll show up at some point.

"It's a long season, so, at some point, the mental toughness, the discipline of the team always shows up and those are the things that we're trying to work on."

Last season, Brady was 17th in the NFL in passer rating, 21st in completion percentage, 22nd in average gain per pass attempt and 11th in touchdown passes.

Of course, Wes Welker left before the season for the Denver Broncos, Aaron Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder last summer and Rob Gronkowski was limited by injury to seven games.


The Patriots' leading returning receiver was Julian Edelman, and he had just 21 catches in 2012. He followed that with 105 receptions in a breakout season, but the rest of the receiving group suffered from injuries and inexperience.

The only significant addition to the group is Brandon LaFell, who had a career-high 49 catches in his fourth NFL season last year with Carolina.

"There's always ways to find improvement," Brady said after posing for photos with winners of the 2014 Myra Kraft Community MVP awards in honor of team owner Robert Kraft's late wife.