Tom Brady enters his 20th NFL season wondering what’s next.
The New England Patriots quarterback is days shy of his 42nd birthday and just over one month away from beginning defense of his sixth Super Bowl title.
“I think for all of us, we can’t imagine how far we’ve come,” Brady said.
“I never imagined playing one year of pro football. It was a dream to be starting quarterback of a high school football team. ... That’s the approach I still take. Nothing is given in this game. In the team sport, if you’re not the best, you have to give the pedestal to someone else. And I’ve got to prove that I’m the best to myself, to my teammates and coaches so I can earn the respect of those guys.
“I look back at last year and say ‘I’ve got to get better in this area.’ That was my offseason focus. Now I get to go put it to the test.”
Brady said he focused this offseason on getting physically stronger to endure hits in the pocket without losing fluidity in his throwing motion.
With his birthday ahead on August 3, Brady wouldn’t mind discussing his contract with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, should New England be looking for a gift this year.
“None of us are really promised anything. I am trying to do the best I can do today and let those things work themselves out,” Brady said.
Having played in nine Super Bowls and won six, there’s not much debate over Brady’s value even as concerns about Father Time become more prevalent.
“Have I earned it?” Brady asked rhetorically to media huddling around him on the field Wednesday. “I don’t know. That’s up for talk show debate. What do you guys think? Should we take a poll? Talk for Mr. Kraft. No, like I said, we got a great relationship so we’ll see how it goes.”
—Field Level Media