Previously, the New England Patriots had avoided talking about former tight end Aaron Hernandez. Aside from a statement from owner Robert Kraft no one had really addressed it. Rob Gronkowski almost walked out of an interview to avoid talking about after repeating “no comment” several times to questions.
Head coach Bill Belichick talked briefly about it Wednesday and said he was “personally disappointed” before moving on to the season. Tom Brady told Peter King in a story published Monday that he has “moved on.”
But that won’t stop reporters from asking key figures of the Patriots organization about it. At training camp Brady was asked if Hernandez had attempted to reach out to him.
“Stacey told me I can’t comment on any of that,” Brady said. “Stacey told me — it’s a good question, but I’m not supposed to comment on any of those things. . . . I’m really not supposed to comment on Aaron.”
The Stacey Brady is referring to is team spokesman Stacey James. But while he wouldn’t talk about his last communication with Hernandez, he did refer to him in general terms and explain his feelings upon finding out the news.
“I think everyone had a certain range of emotions, whatever they might have been. But those were very personal, and I dealt with them,” Brady said, via Pro Football Talk. “Certainly it’s a very tragic thing that happened, someone loses their life. But all those things were out of the players’ control here and we’re not really part of that situation so I don’t think it does a lot for us to get too much involved.”
Then Brady reiterated a lot of what he had said to MMQB earlier this week.
“The fate of our season is going to be determined by the guys in the locker room and hopefully nothing else,” he said. “You talk about the Patriot Way, and to me that means mental toughness, it means dealing with different situations and adversities over the course of a season and offseason and how you can put those things behind you and focus on your job.”