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Tom Brady gets tons of praise from teammates ahead of 19th NFL season

Ryan Hannable
July 25, 2018 - 1:44 pm

FOXBORO -- A week from Friday, Tom Brady will turn 41 years old. Most NFL players at age 41 are happily retired playing golf every day, but not Brady as he is set to begin his 19th NFL season.

Speaking at Gillette Stadium in advance of training camp Thursday, several Patriots captains reflected on just how impressive what Brady is doing really is.

“I certainly think you have to take the time to pause and be appreciative of an athlete like that,” Matthew Slater said. “What he’s been able to accomplish is special, and to be able to witness it up close and personal is really a blessing. I’m thankful to have learned from him as a professional. To see the way that he goes about his craft, to see his desire to prepare himself so that he can be successful, it’s really something to watch, so I’m thankful to be witnessing greatness.”

Added Devin McCourty: “I think we’re spoiled. I think we’re so used to [watching Brady] that we don’t think about it. Tom is who Tom is. Every day, you’re going to get him in here early, leaving late, working hard, encouraging guys. The thing I’ve loved about him since I’ve been here is he’s always a guy that you can look up to. He’s always an example. You don’t have to sit there and ask him a ton of questions about what he does. You just watch him, and you can see it.

"And I think anybody who steps foot in the building, you kind of see that right away. “Since I’ve been here, he’s always a guy who, in the early part of camp, he’s full-go. As soon as guys are reporting, he’s all ready to go. So it’s so normal for, especially a guy like me — it’s my ninth year, so I’ve gotten to watch that nine years in a row — that I don’t even think about it. But to see him grinding, I don’t know if I could pull that off for 19 years.”

While center David Andrews hasn't been around Brady as long as the other two, he still has a great appreciation for what he's been able to do.

“You’ve got to have a lot of respect for that guy,” he said. “Just seeing what he does day in and day out, the same drive and focus that he’s had now going on our fourth training camp together. It’s kind of crazy to see all the things that he’s accomplished and still has that drive. It’s a great quality of his and something you look up to.” 

The Patriots will officially open training camp Thursday morning.

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