BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady is 38 years old. He’s won four Super Bowls, played in two more, and overall in his 16-year career has played in 29 playoff games.
The man knows what it takes to climb the mountain, and he knows it’s not easy.
So as the Patriots rest this week on their playoff bye and await to learn who will be their divisional round opponent, Brady said the team is collectively working toward being mentally and physically ready for next Saturday.
Then Brady, who as everyone knows is an avid Facebook user, shared a quote that seems like something that someone might stumble upon when browsing a timeline.
“I just try to do my best to help our team win. I think that’s what my goal is, and as mentally focused as I can be on that, that’ll help our team win. We’ve all worked pretty hard to get to this point,” Brady said Wednesday. “I read a cool quote the other day, it said, ‘I didn’t come this far to only come this far.’ So we’ve still got further to go.”
Of course, for all of his success, Brady knows postseason failure as well as anybody. He’s been part of two Patriots teams that have lost their only playoff game (2009, ’10) and another that won a wild-card game but lost in the divisional round (2005). It was particularly stunning for that 2010 team, which went 14-2 and had Brady throw 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions. But that home loss to the Jets served as a shocking reminder that there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win in January.
“It’s important for the veteran guys always to set a good example of leadership, because we have some experience,” Brady said. “Our coach talks a lot about that being an advantage only if we use it as experience. So I think that we’re challenged in a lot of different ways. Every team at this point that’s still playing at this point is a great football team. They have a lot of things that every team does well. Nobody’s first in the league in every category statistically, so you’re just trying to build upon the strengths of your team and understand where your weaknesses are. And the veteran guys obviously it’s good to have the experience, but it’s also good to be able to communicate to the younger players what to expect, where we’re heading, how we’re going to get to the place we want to get to.”
As for that sprained ankle, Brady looked much smoother when walking to and from the podium, and he said he’s feeling better.
“Feeling better, better than I was a couple of days ago,” Brady said. Later, he added: “Mentally, I’m ready to go. Physically, you always want to feel your best, and I think you just gotta work as hard as you can to do the right things to get to that point. That’s where I feel like I’m at.”
Brady and the Patriots will host a divisional round playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m. Their opponent will either be Cincinnati, Kansas City or Houston.