There are many words and phrases that have become synonymous with the Patriots and their two-decade dynasty.
Everyone knows “Do Your Job.” There are a few infamous submissions like “DeflateGate.”
But one that endured over the years is “The Patriot Way” — a presumed approach or mindset that helped spark six championships in Foxborough.
But don’t count Tom Brady among those in favor of the catchphrase.
When asked about “The Patriot Way” during his appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, Brady scoffed.
“I’ve never used that term in my entire life. When people say it, I’m always like, ‘What’s the Patriot Way? It sounds like the title of a book,’” Brady said. “I think what we tried to do was, we tried to do things the right way. We tried to practice the right way and prepare the right way. What happened on game day was ultimately a reflection of what we practiced.”
Brady, who praised the accountability and exacting tone set by Bill Belichick in the same interview, said New England’s success was rooted in the personnel in place with the Patriots.
“I thought we had great leadership from our coaches and it filtered down to the guys that really drove the culture,” Brady said. “We had so many guys that I played with over the course of a lot of years that really understood, ‘OK, I’m going to care about my teammates, and I’m going to care about helping the team win.’ Whatever personal agenda you had, individual success and individual awards — I don’t want to make those insignificant, but they weren’t as significant as what we were trying to accomplish as a team.
“I think being a real selfless player and understanding that if the ball didn’t come your way as a receiver and it went somewhere else, that was a great thing for the team. As opposed to, a lot of times, if it doesn’t go to you or if you don’t make the tackle, you get frustrated that you don’t feel like you’re a part of it.”
Brady continued to elaborate on the cohesion and camaraderie needed to string together winning football over an unprecedented stretch of time in the NFL.
“To me it was always, when we scored touchdowns, we would celebrate with the o-line because without them, we didn’t have anything. I didn’t have time to throw the ball. We didn’t have holes that we could open up with the o-line for our backs to go through. When we had a tight end like (Rob Gronkowski) at the point of attack, and early in my career, Dan Graham, one of the great blockers that I’ve ever seen. We could run to the tight end and that tight end now could release up the seam and throw the ball for a big gain on third down. You could get to big targets in the red area.
“But again, it was all teamwork. It was the running backs blocking in pass protection so that the receivers could catch the ball. Then it was receivers blocking in the run game so we could spring our backs for long runs. Those were the things that I thought we celebrated a lot as a team, that maybe aren’t glorified on television.
“But those are the things that I’d like to point out when I’m on FOX next year: This is the ultimate team sport. We’re playing chess out there. We’re not necessarily thinking about where the ball is. I’m looking for things that are creating opportunities for everybody to make plays, whether that’s offense, defense or in the kicking game.”
It’s hard to argue with the results put up by Brady and the rest of the Patriots over the years.
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