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Brady's advice to Bucs teammates draws on his past Pats experience

/ by Dave Green
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Tom Brady's journey from draft afterthought to GOAT is well-known.

The 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady won six Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVPs, and three regular-season MVP awards in New England before bolting Foxboro for Tampa Bay as a free agent this offseason -- and now he's hoping to set a winning example for a whole new set of teammates.

When talking about the Bucs' depth at running back during his Thursday press conference, Brady brought up his own experience as an example for players who might find themselves further down on the depth chart and not getting as much playing time as they might like.

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"Everybody plays a vital role, and when you can gain confidence in the players that are... they may think they're in a backup role, but once the game starts, they're in a featured role, those guys need to take advantage of those opportunities. That's how I got my start," Brady said.

"I look at like, no one ever thought of me in 2001. I thought I was third-string quarterback going into training camp. Two weeks into the year, I’m the starting quarterback. You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunity because you don’t know when you’re going to get it. I try to stress that to the young players. Every day in practice you’ve got a chance to make an impression on a player [or] on coach and build trust in your teammates, so that when you get the opportunity, you go and take advantage of it and you never look back.” 

 

Not many players have ever taken an opportunity and not looked back quite like Brady. Entering his second season buried on the depth chart, way behind the franchise's all-time passing leader Drew Bledsoe, Brady took the reins in Week 2 when Mo Lewis laid Bledsoe out with a devastating sideline hit and is still going strong 19 years later.

At 43 years old, not many -- if any -- players have been there, done that as much as Brady, so when he dispenses advice to his teammates, either on or off the field, they better listen up.