NFL: Tom Brady talks about Aaron Hernandez case for the first time
Tom Brady spoke about Aaron Hernandez for the first time saying the New England Patriots need to make a fresh start.
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH
Last Updated: 27/07/13 1:44pm
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering semi-professional footballer player Odin Lloyd, and he appeared in court again this week when a hearing was delayed until August 22.
The news has hit the Patriots hard, with even tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick making a statement to the media to reveal his sadness at the whole affair.
Brady, too, is keen to move on as quickly as possible, knowing that they cannot afford to dwell on the fact one of their former team-mates is standing trial for murder.
Having the team back in training camp ahead of the new season at least gives the players some on-field matters to focus on, and Brady hopes it will be a fresh start for the group.
"It's a fresh start for all of us," said Brady. "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 need to do to win football games.
"These are very terrible things that you wished never happened to anybody, there's a very human compassionate element that we all have and when it's someone that's been on our team it's a very sad thing.
"So as a team we're trying to move forward and hopefully nothing like this happens again."
As well as the obvious distractions, the loss of Hernandez will also be a huge blow on the field to the team, as one of the best tight ends in the league.
Perhaps the best tight end in the NFL is New England's Rob Gronkowski, with he and Hernandez forming a formidable partnership when on the field together.
Gronkowski, though, is struggling with injuries and with his availability for the new season still under a cloud and Hernandez gone, it'll be a tricky puzzle to solve for Belichick and Brady.