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If Tom Brady saw something in one of his Patriots teammates, he was sure to push them in an attempt to squeeze the most out of their talent.
Last month, Rob Gronkowski told Jason and Travis Kelce that it took him a while to understand why Brady was so hard on him.
Brady would make the 6-foot-6, 245-pound super-atheletic tight-end stay after practice every day. It got to the point where Gronkowski was grateful to see Brady’s kids after practice because he figured Brady would forget about the extra throwing sessions when he saw them.
One person who had an up-close view of how Brady pushed Gronkowski and Julian Edelman was former Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. During a recent appearance on Barstool’s “Pardon My Take,” Hoyer detailed what he saw between the quarterback and the players he believed in.
“Gronk’s rookie year, he’d keep Gronk out there for like 40 minutes throwing extra routes,” Hoyer said on PMT, as transcribed by MassLive. “I think what I learned the most from Tom is you always have to put in the most work so that other guys see you doing it. They can’t question what you’re doing. If they see you doing it, everybody rises to that level. I think that’s what built such a great culture there.”
But, there’s an art to leadership. Not every player can be pushed effectively in the same way.
“[Brady] knows that he can be hard on Julian,” Hoyer said. “But, he’s gotta take a different route with someone else. No one was harder on Julian than Tom. I remember because Julian and I came in together as rookies.
“I’ll never forget: Wes [Welker] would run a route and Tom would throw it and he’d be like, ‘Good job, babe.’” Hoyer continued. “Then Julian would do like the exact same steps and he’d be like, ‘Julian, what the [expletive]? You know I told you to do this.’ Then Julian would walk back and he’d be like, ‘I did it the same! I did it the same!’ But it paid off. He earned Tom’s trust.”
Brady wasn’t the only one who was able to build trust by pushing those around him. Patriots coach Bill Belichick shares a similar quality, Hoyer said.
“You come in every day, Bill makes it as hard as possible, but it’s the grind that brings us all together. I always loved the locker room there,” Hoyer said. “It was always one of the tightest-knit locker rooms I’ve ever been in because I think we all suffered together. Through the meetings. You go into the meeting with Bill and it’s a 40-minute lowlights. When the lights go off, you’re like (expletive), what play did I mess up yesterday that’s going to be on this lowlight? I think it created this bond between us.”
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