FOXBORO (CBS) — In his 11 seasons as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, Tom Brady has found himself facing the pressure of the postseason every year but for 2002.
With three Super Bowl titles and a 16-6 postseason record, Brady’s experienced just about all the playoffs have to offer, and he knows when the Patriots take the field next weekend against a yet-to-be-determined opponent, there will be no room for error.
“Coach [Bill Belichick] said it best this morning: You make one mistake in this type of game, and that’s your season,” Brady said. “It’s no more like, ‘Hey, I’ll get it figured out next week,’ and ‘Something we’ve got to learn from and move on with.’ No, that’s your season. That’s the kind of urgency you have in practice and certainly when we play here a week from Sunday.
“We’ve been working hard to figure out a bunch of things. There’s a packet full of things we need to do better and things that we’re really working hard to improve on. Guys have really taken to those things, and hopefully that leads into a great week of practice next week.”
While Brady has said he’d like to play until he’s 40, the 35-year-old was asked if he appreciates these playoff opportunities even more now that he’s on the back end of his career.
“I think it’s meaningful. Certainly it’s meaningful for me. I know it’s meaningful for our whole team and what we’re attempting to accomplish,” Brady said. “You don’t take these things for granted, and it’s a privilege to be in this position that we’re in.”
Brady also revealed some of the reason why he rarely shows any panic in the playoffs. Simply, he puts the same pressure on himself in a training camp session in August as he does in the fourth quarter in January.
“There’s always pressure in this game,” Brady said. “There’s pressure in practice, there’s pressure to make the team, there’s pressure to keep your job. Certainly, there’s pressure to win games. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”