Tom Brady playing at 42 shows Patriots QBs amazing mental stamina on top of physical longevity, Ben Watson – MassLive.com

Posted: January 3, 2020 at 10:52 am

Tom Brady leading the New England Patriots to the playoffs is a physical wonder at age 42. Its clear to anyone watching him suit up week after week. But its especially impressive to the guy with the locker immediately to Bradys right: Ben Watson.

On Thursday, Watson marveled when presented with the fact that Brady would be playing in his 41st career playoff games Saturday

Thats longer than some peoples career," Watson said. Thats amazing. Im sure he would downplay it, but thats special.

When it comes to longevity in the NFL, there are few who can appreciate what Bradys accomplished like Watson, who turned 39 earlier this season.

Brady has been fortunate to stay in the NFL this long, but Watson wants to make it clear: that sort of longevity doesnt happen by accident. Professional football players are often blessed with great genetics, Watson says, but it doesnt mean much without the will to hone that talent into something great on the field.

When it comes to Brady, few have matched the amount of effort put forth to stay in the game.

Hes put in a tremendous amount of work, physically, mentally, emotionally, to be able to keep doing it over and over and over again, Watson said. One people dont understand sometimes is the stress mentally that playing at this level has on you. A lot of guys, sometimes tap out while their bodies can still probably play. But mentally having to turn it on over and over and over again, under pressure, over and over again, for years after years, burns you out. So to have that competitive stamina that he has is really amazing."

Different guys react differently when it comes to the mental aspect of football. Brady is still going strong. But other guys dont stick around quite as long. Rob Gronkowski is the perfect example. The retired tight end has said he could probably still play in the league. However, he admits that he longer has the competitive fire to go back out there.

Watson said its been special to go out and play with a great leader like Brady in a second go-around -- a decade after his first stint in New England.

Hes the leader on this team, the leader of this organization and its going to be a joy for me to go out on the field with him," Watson said.

As the team head to the postseason, we could be facing the final game in a Patriots uniform for both Brady and Watson. Will either player stick around in New England -- or in the NFL? Its hard to tell at this point.

Brady and Watson have bested the test of time so far. But soon enough, the time to hang it up will come.

They say age is a number and thats kind of true, Watson said. But obviously we all have an expiration date -- of our lives in its entirety and also on our careers. But it doesnt mean you cant do great things as you get older in age and as you get outside whatever the norm is for pro sports and I think hes proven that.

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Tom Brady playing at 42 shows Patriots QBs amazing mental stamina on top of physical longevity, Ben Watson - MassLive.com

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