Unanimous MVP small solace for Tom Brady

Tom Brady never began the preseason hoping to win Most Valuable Player honors. That’s not how he’s wired.

“The last thing I’ll ever be thinking about was an MVP award,” Brady said.

Yet that was Brady’s consolation prize while his team sat home for Super Bowl XLV. The Patriots quarterback became the first unanimous winner in the award’s current format, earning all 50 votes.

It’s Brady’s second MVP, the first coming in 2007. As he also did in ’07, Brady won this year’s AP offensive player of the year award.

Speaking in an interview with NFL Network following the announcement, Brady appeared appreciative and conflicted.

“It’s really contradictory to the way I try to play quarterback,” Brady said. “It’s about the team. And if you’re going to experience success, you(’ve) got to rely on every single guy, and you win with those guys and you lose with those guys. And coach (Bill Belichick) said it best. We had a great regular season, the best of any team in the league. We just didn’t have the best postseason.”

Brady joins his childhood hero Joe Montana as the only players to win multiple NFL and Super Bowl MVPs following a season that included 335 passes without an interception. He threw 36 touchdowns against just four picks, posting an NFL-best 111.0 passer rating. More impressively, the Patriots surged to a 14-2 record despite a midseason trade of Randy Moss and unprecedented youth on defense.

Brady said the work has already begun on improving.

“There’s a lot of things we can do better,” Brady said. “We’ve already started the evaluation of our offense and I think part of the reason we scored as many points as we did is we got a lot of turnovers and we didn’t turn the ball over much. We set a record for that, which is a pretty cool record as a team. We play in New England. We play in snow, we play in wind, we play in rain. So the guys that are possessing the football did a great job taking care of it. That was a great reason why we had a great record.”

Others would say Brady had more to do with it than he let on. Ever the competitor, he preferred to talk about some of the near-misses during the season and his career.

The most recent came at the hands of the Jets.

“You never get over losses,” he said. “I didn’t get over the loss to Denver four years ago in the division game or the Colts in the championship game or the Giants in the Super Bowl. They stick with you forever. Hopefully, it motivates us to come back this offseason and train hard, and enter the season with a pretty good understanding of what it takes to get back to where we’re at.”

In short, Brady took pride in his award, but would’ve rather been playing in Texas last night.

“It’s a great award,” Brady said, “but playing in the Super Bowl is the greatest
award that any quarterback could be doing this time of year.”

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