On Wednesday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with the New England media. With his team set to face the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday night, much of the conversation was centered around his upcoming opponent. One of the more interesting non-match-up related discussions was about the 49ers quarterback situation.
As most remember, Brady, the sixth rounder from Michigan, got his chance following an injury to quarterback Drew Bledsoe. After that, the rest is history.
In Week 10 versus the St. Louis Rams, then 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith took an awkward hit that resulted in a concussion. The blow he took to the head opened up a window of opportunity for second-year passer Colin Kaepernick.
Brady was asked to relate and revisit his own moment from 2001.
On the 49ers QB situation:
I think individually, as a player, you just try to focus on what you have to do to help the team win. That's your role. When you're on a team, you're supposed to support the team in whatever way the coach needs you to support the team. When you're not playing, you support the guys that are playing. You help out in practice and then when you get your opportunity, you try to go in there and support the team by playing. Ultimately it's about winning games. It's not about an individual; it's about doing what's best for the team. So when you play, you've got to play well.
On whether or not there is an awkwardness or tension between QBs:
Well, it was a long time ago for me, but there was nothing like that on our team. I had great support from all of the quarterbacks, especially Drew [Bledsoe] at the time. I don't really know what's going on in San Francisco.
On his mentality when replacing Drew Bledsoe:
Like I said, you just try to focus on your job. There are a lot of players that you count on and depend on you and you depend on them. That's what makes it a team game. That's why the best teams win the most important games: because they've got a group of players that are committed to doing their jobs. Like I said, if your role is to play quarterback, your role is to play quarterback and you've got to do as best you can. If your role is to play scout team running back, that's what your role is. Until that role changes, you just do it the best you can do.
Colin Kaepernick can pretty much take that as direct advice from a future first ballot Hall of Famer who was in a very similar situation. Kaepernick has seemed to have had a laser focus since he first arrived in 2011. He has been one of the harder working players on the team, which is essential for a quarterback.
Brady's message was simply to help the team as much as you can, in any way you can, but putting forth a grand effort. Once No. 12 took hold of the job in New England, he never let it go, and has become one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
There is no one traditional way to becoming a starter in this league. But it's about what you do with the opportunity when you're presented with it. Hopefully for Kap, he will be able to take this advice and seize his opportunity as Brady did.
For the full transcript of Tom Brady's media day on Wednesday, visit Cam Inman's blog at the San Jose Mercury News.