Brady: ‘You Have to Move Forward’

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks with reporters following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, July 25, 2013.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Foxborough, Mass. — A day after New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the Aaron Hernandez situation for the first time, the face of the franchise took questions from the media.

Tom Brady spent about 17 minutes surrounded by cameras and reporters on the practice field adjacent to Gillette Stadium Thursday morning. He said he was advised to not specifically talk about Hernandez, but he did broadly address the story.

He was first asked about his emotions when he first heard that Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd, of Dorchester, Mass.

“I think everyone had a certain range of emotions, whatever they might have been,” Brady said. “But those were really personal. I dealt with them. At some point you have to move forward. I think we as a team are doing that. The best part is really coming out to start the football season and talk about the challenges we have ahead of us and certainly it’s been a challenging offseason, but, you know, we’re going to try to move forward as best we know how.”

Training camp officially begins today, but Brady and other quarterbacks have been in Foxborough since Sunday. Rookies reported Sunday and veterans were due Thursday, when the team ran players through conditioning tests.

Brady said Belichick has not addressed the entire team about the Hernandez situation, but players are aware of what Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have said on the matter.

“He’ll have his own message for entire team,” Brady said. “Everyone really takes the lead from Coach Belichick and Mr. Kraft and I know they’ve commented on how they feel. We as players have to follow their lead. Hopefully we can go out and do something that our community can really be proud of.

“That’s the important thing. We’ve had such great examples of the years, whether it’s Tedy Bruschi or Mike Vrabel or Troy Brown or Kevin Faulk, guys who have really worn this uniform and worn it well. And not only have we been successful on the field, but guys have committed so much of their time to doing things that are good in the community. This obviously is not a time when those things are recognized because there’s another situation to deal with. I’m still really proud of those guys that have worn the uniform and worn it well.”

Focusing on football, Brady said, will help the Patriots process the Hernandez story and help minimize the potential distraction for the deal.

“I know the last six weeks have been distracting for a lot of people, but I’d say for this team, we’re trying to focus on our job and what we have to do to win football games,” Brady said. “Certainly, it’s a very tragic thing that happened. Someone loses their life, but all those things were out of the players’ control here. We’re not really part of that situation. So I don’t think it does a lot for us to get too much involved in that.”

Brady was asked multiple times about his emotions when he heard about the arrest and his emotions over the past month. He called tragic and referenced the Boston Marathon bombing.

When asked specific questions about Hernandez, Brady said he was advised to not answer. He said he tends to have solid relationships with all of his teammates with the confines of the stadium, but “people have their own life.”

Did Hernandez fit into the team?

“I don’t think it matters at this point,” Brady said. “I don’t think any of that really matters to me or matters to anything that’s going on with the legal process or anything like that.”

Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork also spoke Thursday but didn’t mention Hernandez’s name. The Patriots, who lost the AFC championship game last year to the Baltimore Ravens, will be tested, he said.

“You’re dealing with a real-life situation, so it’s easy to get caught up in the media or speculations. We’re not here for that,” Wilfork said. “I feel bad for the victim’s family, but we have to move forward as a football team. That’s sad to say, but that’s reality.”

It’s important, he said, to keep off-field issues separate from players’ jobs on the field.

“It’s going to test this team’s chemistry. It’s going to test everyone that’s in this locker room,” Wilfork said. “It’s going to test to see how important football is to us. As a family, you just have to take it day-by-day, move forward day-by-day. At the end of the day, the ball is going to continue to roll and the last thing we want to do is be stuck behind the ball.”

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.