Having long since locked up Hall of Fame status, it would be easy for Tom Brady to lose his edge. And yet, the Patriots signal caller is as fiery as ever in his 15th season.
In his post-practice press conference today, Brady discussed staying motivated throughout his career, starting from his stint as a backup during his freshman year in high school.
“I didn’t even get to play,’’ he said. “We were 0-8. I went to college as the seventh quarterback, barely played my fourth and fifth year, got drafted in the sixth round, was the fourth quarterback here my first year. You’ve got to learn to compete, and you’ve got to love to win.’’
Evidently, Brady loves winning nearly as much as he loves his wife: playing as well as he ever has, Brady led the team to a 12-4 record and the AFC’s top seed.
Wednesday marked the third day of bye-week practice for the team, an exercise that can get a bit aimless considering the team doesn’t yet know its playoff opponent.
As such, the team’s offense and defense got a rare opportunity to match up — one Brady both relished and dreaded.
“I could see why it’s hard to score on our defense…I can tell you that,’’ he said. “They’ve got a lot of good players.’’
Brady also touched on his recent contract restructure, saying he hopes to remain a Patriot for the remainder of his career.
“I love playing here,’’ he said. “It’s just been a great experience in my life. Hopefully I’m here for the rest of my career, and hopefully I go out and play really well for this team. That matters more than anything. I’m going to try to be the best I can be.’’
With the likes of Baltimore and Denver looming on the way to the Super Bowl and NFC top seeds Green Bay and Seattle as formidable matchups in Glendale, Brady will need to be at his best if he hopes to win his fourth ring.
Fortunately, he says, he’s still got plenty of motivation.
“I think the motivation is to never let my teammates down. I want to go out there and be the best I can be for them,’’ he said. “Those guys work really hard, and I never want to be the reason why we lose the game.’’
“You earn the respect of your teammates by your work ethic and what you’re able to accomplish on a daily basis. That’s what football is all about to me.’’