Tom Brady made a valid point Thursday night during his interview with Jim Gray on Westwood One.
He also re-opened a sore wound for Boston Bruins fans.
Brady was explaining how the New England Patriots can't rest on their laurels despite entering the bye week as the AFC's No. 1 seed at 8-1.
To make his point, he referenced two recent teams that struggled in the first half of the season but rallied to win their league's championship.
"Look at the NHL season and look where the St. Louis Blues were at halfway through their season: close to the bottom," Brady told Gray. "If you look at Major League Baseball: Look at where the (Washington) Nationals were two months into the season. They were close to the bottom, too."
The Blues capped off their historic season at the Bruins' expense, beating Boston in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The Nationals upset the favored Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series.
Brady's message: If the Patriots don't keep their foot on the gas, they could be the 2019 Bruins or Astros.
"Championship football, this is when it starts to get played," Brady said. " ... This is when the hard work, this is when the mental toughness really starts to play itself out."
" ... If you’re a marathon runner, it’s not how you run the first 13 miles. That’s when everyone’s relatively fresh, relatively hopeful. It’s now the back half that’s really the most important.
"This is where you either migrate toward the pack or separate from the pack. And if you’re going to be a winning team, this is where you really have to start to prove it and show it."
New England will endure its own version of the Boston Marathon's "Heartbreak Hill" coming out of the bye week, with matchups against playoff hopefuls like the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.
But Brady sounds up for the challenge.
"If you’re a real true professional, this is when you bear down," he added. "This is when it matters most."
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