Tom Brady didn’t take the bait. Perhaps Robert Kraft didn’t even need it.
The Patriots’ Lamar Hunt Trophy presentation was not without reference to the Deflategate scandal. After Tedy Bruschi presented the team with the trophy, CBS’ Jim Nantz held brief interviews with Kraft, Bill Belichick and Brady. Kraft’s brief message might have suggested this Super Bowl trip is extra meaningful.
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“For a number of reasons, all of you in the stands understand how big this win was,” Kraft said, “but we have to go to Houston and win one [more].”
Brady was asked if there was “extra motivation” for him to win this season.
“Nah, this is my motivation right here,” Brady said. “All these fellas right in front of me. That’s why we’re here.”
Brady added that mental toughness helped the Patriots get past Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending injury, among other obstacles.
“We’ll see if we can write the perfect ending in a couple of weeks,” he said. “It’s going to take a big effort. We’re going to take a couple weeks to prepare because we’re playing a great team, but it’s going to be a hell of a game.”
Belichick attributed the Patriots’ success this season to the performance of the team’s “great players.”
“It’s all about the players,” he said. “We’ve got great players. They work hard and they’re unselfish and they’re tough.”