FOXBORO, Mass. — Quarterback Tom Brady was days removed from his third Super Bowl victory in four years as a starter and getting ready to play at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii when he pulled his Patriots teammates to the side to impart a message.
The memory has always remained with former Pats linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who shared the story Thursday while discussing Brady's drive and leadership qualities. Even with the level of greatness the Patriots had already attained, Brady wanted more, and he wasn't going to let a glorified exhibition game slow down his passion.
"Even when you had a lot of success achieved, it still wasn't enough," Bruschi said. "I remember my only Pro Bowl that I played in was after the Super Bowl against the Eagles, and we were waiting in the locker room, all the Pro Bowl participants from the Patriots. So I think it was me, [Adam] Vinatieri, [Larry] Izzo, Brady. Seriously, we still had confetti in our pockets from the parade. The celebration and euphoric feeling we had from the Super Bowl still was there.
"Before we went out to be introduced as the representatives of the Super Bowl champions — the last introduction of the Pro Bowl, because that's what they did, they let the winners of the Super Bowl be introduced last, where they're alone in the locker room. Tom Brady looks to all of us and goes, 'No one's ever won three [Super Bowls] in a row, guys.' And there was sort of just a hanging thought to all of us like, 'This is what I want, and this is a goal.' We all looked at him and said, 'Come on, Tom.' It was like, 'Take a break. Take a little bit of a break and enjoy it.'
"I was sort of in disbelief that he was already there. He was already thinking about what was next, and that's just a little story about his competitive drive, and how it was, and how he ended up taking it to the next level and he still has it there right now."