Quarterbacks often are judged on championships, even though they shouldn't be. Tom Brady is a great example why.
Brady undeniably has been a better overall player in the second half of his career than when he started out, but he got all three of his titles early. What Brady does now is keep the New England Patriots in the mix every season.
"We've had our chances. Twice. More than twice, actually," Brady told Peter King of SI.com. "I still have plenty of chances to do it. What I've learned is it's really, really hard to win the Super Bowl. I didn't get that perspective early, winning three out of the first four years I played.
"What I like about this franchise is we've got a shot every year. I love the fact we were in the AFC title game last year, the Super Bowl the year before that and 14-2 the year before that. Can we win this year? It'll be determined by our level of commitment, the mental toughness. We'll find out before the season. How committed are we?"
The Patriots' consistency is unique in today's NFL, even among the best franchises. They have tied for first place or better in the AFC East every year since 2001. They have averaged more than 13 wins over the last three years and more than 12 wins per year since Brady's last title.
Contending for a title isn't the problem. The Patriots can do that even without Aaron Hernandez. Finishing the job is the issue. With Brady turning 36 next week, the odds of another Patriots championship get longer by the year.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.