BOSTON (CBS) -- Even though the Patriots are going out and playing against each other at the moment, things tend to get heated out on the football field.
The offense is always trying to get the best of the defense. The defense is always trying to get the best of the offense. They go tit for tat. Sometimes the offense wins and sometimes the defense wins, but at the end of the day, there is a mutual respect between the two sides.
Now in between the lines, that is a bit of a different story. Even as they go against their brethren on the field, three long months before they'll play a meaningful football game, the trash talk flows like a burst dam.
Like everything else, there is a leader in the clubhouse when it comes to letting the smack fly. And it should come as no surprise that it's someone who has already laid claim to being the GOAT at something else.
"It's definitely Tom. No doubt about it, it's Tom," safety Devin McCourty told reporters on Wednesday after Day 2 of the Patriots' minicamp at Gillette Stadium. "Whether he's in or he's on the sideline, he's probably the No. 1 guy talking. We have fun with it. That's a part of this time of year, competing and talking trash. It helps everyone raise their level."
"He's highly competitive," Danny Amendola told WBZ-TV's Levan Reid, not wanting to say much about Brady's "inspirational speeches." "There are a lot of guys out here who are highly competitive."
Once practice is over, life returns to normal, of course.
"We'll laugh and joke in the locker room, but out here we get after it pretty well," McCourty said of the back-and-forth banter. "This will lead right into training camp, but off the field and inside the locker room, we're all really close and we get along. But it gets going out here, and it should. I think everyone's out here fighting for a spot, trying to improve each day, and right now it's offense vs. defense. We're going to compete and go at each other. It's harder to find a balance now than it is when we get closer to the season."
As for some of Brady's best hits, McCourty said those are better suited for the ones they're directed at.
"We don't want to quote him," he said with a smile. "We got to keep that stuff inside the white lines."
If that's what he says to his teammates, imagine what he says to opponents on Sunday afternoons.
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