Nick Hardwick: Tom Brady, Patriots are ‘beyond impressive'

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Because of their consistent success over the course of the past two decades, the New England Patriots have been targets of criticism and hatred from many over the years. However, a former opponent of the team spoke in support of them recently. And that was Chargers center, Nick Hardwick.

Hardwick recently appeared as a guest on Peter King's "Football Morning In America" column on NBC Sports. He surprisingly took time to praise the Patriots, a team that was one of his biggest rivals during his playing days, in the column.

Here's what Hardwick had to say about Brady.  

Brady has done a great job of allowing us access to him as a human. It’s easy to hate the machine. It’s hard to sustain hatred towards a human. I can’t believe I’m saying this publicly, but I devour any information I can get on the guy. He’s beyond impressive. And hell, so are the Patriots. There I said it. They are something to marvel at, learn from, and cheer on. Unless they’re playing my Chargers.

It's surprising to see a former player openly endorsing the Patriots, especially given the rivalry these two teams enjoyed in the mid/late 2000s, when they were two of the better teams in the NFL. But, apparently, Hardwick has become one of Brady's biggest fans.

And Brady wasn't the only member of the Patriots that Hardwick praised. He also was complimentary of defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

I bet if you polled offensive linemen during his time in the league, there would be a high percentage of centers, left guards, and left tackles who would say, 'There wasn’t a smarter, tougher, more physically imposing presence in the league than Richard Seymour.'

And Hardwick would know about this. Seymour played 13 career games against the Chargers and Hardwick faced him in 10 of those contests. Seymour had 2.5 career sacks against the Chargers, and they came in games that Hardwick played in.

It's nice to see that Hardwick can appreciate the Patriots dynasty. Because the team's unparalleled success truly has been a marvel, and a lot of it starts with their age-defying quarterback.

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