Tom Brady has garnered every accolade under the sun. But even he didn't see this one coming.

After the New England Patriots quarterback passed Peyton Manning into second place on the NFL's all-time passing list in Thursday's win over the New York Giants, head coach Bill Belichick showed Brady some love by giving him the game ball in the locker room.

In an interview Monday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Brady expressed his appreciation for his coach's gesture.

"I don't remember (the last time I got a game ball)," Brady said. "But that was very nice. That was very kind. That was, I would say, unexpected but certainly appreciated. It's pretty cool."

Belichick probably could give Brady the game ball every week if he wanted to, but the Patriots like to spread praise across the entire roster. A milestone like this provided an exception, though.

"I never imagined playing 20 years in the NFL," Brady added. "Peyton was a guy that I looked up to because he was so spectacular in every way. Brett Favre is the same."

Brady also added two rushing touchdowns Thursday, breaking Doug Flutie's record to become the oldest quarterback in NFL history with multiple rushing TDs in the same game.

Brady said he actually got a text from Flutie, a former Patriot and a "good friend," and responded with a little self-effacing humor.


"I (told him), 'I think they should delineate quarterback sneak touchdowns and actually where you have to run for a touchdown. Because I don't know if you'd classify mine as 'rushing' touchdowns, because there's not much rushing. It's more like sneaking."

Those sneaks add up, though: Brady now has 1,006 career rushing yards, only 628 behind the fleet-of-foot Flutie.

UPDATE (10:41 a.m. ET): Belichick explained his thought process behind giving Brady the game ball in a conference call with reporters Monday morning.

"Tom breaks a record every week, so we could really probably give him a game ball after every game," Belichick said. "But I think this one, for what he's accomplished in terms of total career passing yards, is pretty noteworthy."

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