FOXBORO -- Patriots players indicated that prior to last weekend's win over the Bills, a win that earned the team another AFC East title, they received a little bit of motivation from quarterback Tom Brady. That's not necessarily an every-week occurrence.
Why not? Why shouldn't arguably the greatest football player to ever lace 'em up be speaking to his teammates before every game? Brady explained at his Friday press conference.
"I would say a lot of guys talk at different times," he said. "I've been around a little bit so I kind of pick my spots. I think if you speak too much it loses a little . . . I try to pick the right time to express the things that are important, that I feel are important. We have coaches that do that. As a veteran player, as a captain, I feel like that's good knowledge for me to share. That's going out there and understanding what's at stake."
As Brady went on to explain, "what's at stake" is more than a win, a playoff berth, a divisional championship. In some ways, it's about simply respecting your teammates' time. It's about respecting the efforts others have made to put the team in a favorable position and responding in kind.
"I think everybody puts a lot aside," Brady said. "I think we all do. We all have jobs. I have a lot of grown-up issues. You deal with kids and family and life things. Lotta younger guys don't. That's just the reality. When you're an older player you don't take those things for granted because you realize the things you're putting off are very important and things that you can't get back. The longer you do it, you try to express to them these are important things.
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"It's important for me to sacrifice for them. They gotta do the same. That's the reality of football. It takes on part of your life. You play for a long period of time, during the season the games are scheduled every Sunday. They take precedent over basically everything else. It's a lot of important things we're doing. Try to do the right thing."
Brady's explanation for why and when he makes a pregame speech almost took on a bit of a pregame speech itself at the end. It served as another indication of how Brady has learned to go about his job -- on the field, on the sideline, in the locker room -- over the course of two decades.