BOSTON (CBS) -- The quarterback dynamic was always going to be complicated this summer, given the four-game suspension to Tom Brady to start the season. But it kicked into high gear this week in what is typically considered to be the biggest game of the preseason.
Tom Brady stepped to the podium this week and explained his surprise absence in last week's game. He also expressed a desire to play in Friday night's game in Carolina.
It led to a bit of debate in the area. Is it best for the team for Brady to take snaps from Jimmy Garoppolo? What's more important -- what Brady wants, or getting experience for Garoppolo?
While it may have made for some good fodder on the airwaves, team president Jonathan Kraft made it clear that Brady's attitude is the farthest thing from a problem at 1 Patriots Place.
Here's what Kraft had to say to Marc Bertrand and Greg Dickerson on Patriots Preview, prior to kickoff Friday night.
"Tom's a thoughtful, mature person, and I don't think there's any difference in his mind-set today than there was the day the en banc decision came down. And the relationship with Jimmy I think is the same as it's always been, which I think is the way it should be. I think since Jimmy got to the team, Tom's been trying to help make him as good of an NFL quarterback as he can be, because given the nature of our game -- you don't expect it to be through suspension for somebody like Tom Brady -- but obviously in the National Football League, players for lots of different reasons, end up not being on the football field. And your team is only as good as the person that's coming in to take your place. And Tom cares deeply about the competitiveness of our team."
"I also think Tom said something really thoughtful this week -- I wouldn't call it thoughtful, I think really it was a good insight into who he is as a person -- when he talked about how every snap, whether it's in a preseason game or a regular season game for that matter I think he probably meant training camp or practice, is valuable to him. Because he just loves the game so much and loves playing it. And if you had your quarterback who was someone who said, 'Yeah, I want the week off,' I don't think he's going to be a successful NFL quarterback. So I think we're incredibly lucky to have somebody like that who, after 16 years in the league, has that type of passion and desire. As we've talked about many many times, he puts all the effort and attention he does into getting himself ready to play the game. And I think when he is no longer playing the game, whenever that day comes, those of us in New England are going to really, really, really miss him."
"The other thing I would say to the younger people who are in their teens today or even in their early 20s who are passionate followers of this team. What they've known as an NFL quarterback, we should be so lucky to have the next person be someone like that."
As for Brady's comments about having only a limited number of opportunities left in his life to play football?
"I haven't heard him use those words that you just paraphrased until then, but I do know how precious he views every opportunity to be on the field. And he takes nothing for granted. With any football player, but especially your quarterback, starts to say I don't need that, they can't be the leader of your team anymore in my opinion. And if you didn't come in with the attitude that you want every possible snap and you were going to take it as seriously as you possibly could, even if you were an athletically gifted guy and you were the predetermined starter for whatever team you were on and your attitude was, 'Yeah, let the guys behind me take the snaps,' that's not a guy you want leading your football team in my opinion."
The message was loud and clear.
Kraft also answered questions about the trade of Bryan Stork, potential NFL expansion to Las Vegas, and the new committee of NFL chairmen which Robert Kraft will sit on. Listen below:
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