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Thoughts from Patriots’ Camp: Brady just as driven as ever

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady waves to the crowd in Richmond. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND — Thoughts and observations on the New England Patriots from their joint training camp practice here Tuesday with the Washington Redskins:

Brady is sharp: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spent much of his time during this week’s joint practices with the Redskins picking apart Washington’s overmatched secondary.

The three-time Super Bowl winner turned 37 this week but remains as relentlessly driven as ever.

“It’s all good work for us,” Brady said following Tuesday’s practice, surrounded by reporters as he stood beneath a goal post at the Redskins’ training camp facility. “You have to take advantage of all these opportunities that you get at this time of year because, as I said, the practices are limited. You just can’t come out and just mess around, jerk around for a whole practice and lose ground on the rest of the league. No matter who you’re practicing with, whether it’s your team or another team, you’ve got to go out there and get something out of it.”

Edelman and Welker: Brady doesn’t exactly compare wide receiver Julian Edelman to departed former favorite target Wes Welker. But he does say that Edelman learned well from Welker.

“It’s hard to compare,” Brady said. “I think Wes was such a special player for our team and I was fortunate enough to play with him for that period. But Julian in his own right has worked his tail off and I think he really had a great mentor in Wes, someone that he could really look up to. They play a little bit similar. They’re different players. But they both worked extremely hard. Football is so important to both of them. And I think that really wore off on Julian, and Julian has worked his tail off to get where he’s at. I think that he really has taken advantage of every opportunity that he’s got, Julian has. I’m proud of him. He keeps coming out making plays, and he’s done such a great job being so dependable, reliable for our team. It’s great to have him.”

Big target: Brady had praise Tuesday for wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers. LaFell is listed at 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, and he topped 600 receiving yards in each of his final three seasons with the Panthers.

“He keeps making more plays,” Brady said. “He’s done a great job. Today he made a lot of plays out there. He’s understanding better and better. He’s a veteran. He’s savvy. He knows how to run the routes. Big body, big frame, makes a lot of tough catches. … I’ve got some of the little pygmies out there like Julian and Danny [Amendola], and it’s nice to have a little bigger guy out there from time to time that has a big catch radius. Hopefully Danny and Julian don’t get mad at me for saying that. They won’t. They know I’m joking.”