Ten years ago, the New England Patriots became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a 16-game regular season. The 2007 Patriots are recognized as one of the greatest teams ever, even though they ultimately did not win the Super Bowl.
The 2017 Pats have a chance to be even better. But don’t tell Tom Brady that.
Though New England added the likes of Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore this offseason and returned most of the key contributors from last year’s title-winning roster, Brady doesn’t believe it’s right to compare this current team to the 16-0 squad.
“It’s really unfair to set expectations,” the Patriots quarterback said Tuesday morning on WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan.” “To me, in my mind, it’s really a setup. For this team, we need to be focused on so many other things than what people may think about us or say about us. There’s so much improvement we need to make. I love the guys I’m playing with this year. It’s a totally different version of the team we’ve had.
“We’ll have our own strengths and weaknesses, but how the season plays out will be determined by what happens moving forward. You’re talking about some magical years that we’ve had that may never be duplicated again. It’s really unfair to compare any of that to what has happened in the past. We’ll be able to write our own chapter. Hopefully, it’s a good one.”
Brady and the rest of the Patriots are in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., this week for two joint practices with the Houston Texans. New England practiced with the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and will hold a joint walkthrough with the Detroit Lions next week.
“We’re still a long way from building (a championship team),” Brady said on “K&C.” “We’re going to build it over the course of the year. That is why we’re practicing. That’s why we’re in West Virginia. That’s why we’re getting ready to go practice against another good team, because we’re trying to get better. We need it. Hopefully, we can be the best version of this team. We’ll see how it shakes out.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images