One of the many traits that has defined Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over his near two decades of playing in the NFL is his enthusiasm for the game. Sure, maybe he changed his approach this offseason -- skipping voluntary workouts for the first time in recent memory -- but the passion still remains. It came out in full volume Thursday afternoon when Brady was asked about the playoffs being what what he lives for.
"I think it's just naturally a level of intensity that you can't really emulate at any other point in the season and really for us, any other point in our life," Brady said. "We all work hard to get to this point and to have an opportunity like we have, I don't think you take them for granted. There's been so many plays that I've seen in my career that had we not made that one play, which could be just an extra effort, could be an arm tackle, could be just one extra push of the pile that ends up being the difference in an entire game and really, an entire season. That's what it's all about..."
Brady sounds like he's ready to play right now, but his Patriots have the weekend off -- earning a bye. While that's commonplace in the Belichick-Brady era, this season was a little different. The Pats finished the year 11-5, their lowest win total since 2009, a season that resulted in a wild-card playoff loss. This year's group twice lost two games in a row, including back-to-back games in December for the first time since 2002. But Brady doesn't want to compare this team to any other.
"Every team has its own unique identity and this team cares a lot about each other," Brady said. "We play for each other and we're playing to win. I think that's what we're here for. We've shown we can compete. We've shown we could overcome some adversity. We've been counted out a few times and showed back up with a lot of resolve. We have great character on this team. Like I said, our story's still being written and fortunately, we have an opportunity to write it."
That next chapter begins two Sundays from now in the Divisional round, opponent to be determined.