Brady Humbly Accepts MVP Accolade

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can add another feather to his cap after turning in the perfect season. The AP named Brady the 2007 Most Valuable Player Saturday. It was the first time honor for the most important person to call signals in New England since the franchise was founded.

Brady was thankful to receive the award and quick to credit his supporting cast.

"As I have learned over the course of my time with the Patriots, the most meaningful accomplishments are always the ones I have celebrated with my teammates," said Brady. "I am certainly proud of the success that we have enjoyed so far this season."

Brady had his most prolific season since being named starter in New England, breaking personal and league records as he guided the team to the postseason for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Perhaps his most impressive accomplishment was setting the NFL single season touchdown record. Brady threw 50 touchdowns, breaking the 49 mark set by Indianapolis Colts gunslinger Peyton Manning in 2004.

While Brady was on record-setting pace, his coach worked hard to keep him humble, by dishing out what the team has labeled "Humble pie" after each game. No player was immune to the treatment, including Brady. It is ironic to think that a head coach benefiting from the historic season that Brady had, would continue to ride his quarterback for mistakes.

''It's just the way he coaches,'' Brady said of Belichick's tendency to dish out helpings of humble pie after the Patriots wiped out the Bills 56-10. ''There's never anything that's good enough. After a while you just get sick of it. You say 'enough, coach.' We've taken beating after beating. It helps us get in the right frame of mind.''

Yet, Belichick offered his sincere praise of Brady when sought for comment on the award.

"He deserves it," said Belichick. "I have thought for a long time that there is no past or present quarterback I'd rather coach than Tom Brady and I am more certain of that every year he plays."

Brady's blindside protector Matt Light agreed. Light has been protecting Brady for seven seasons and was pleased his quarterback's accomplishments were finally recognized.

"I can't think of anyone more deserving, not only for this season, but for the way that he has led this team over the years," Light said. "He is responsible for a lot of the things that we have accomplished. … I am just happy for him. He deserves it."

Even Brady's competition understands how valuable the California native is to the New England franchise. Jets head coach Eric Mangini offered his praise of the quarterback prior to the December 16th meeting between the teams.

"Tom was impressive from the day he got in the building," Mangini told the AP. "As he's gotten more successful and more and more accolades, he hasn't changed his work ethic, his intensity, his selflessness."

Brady's effectiveness has had its impact on those who used to play against him, but are now part of the Patriot culture in Foxborough. Linebacker Junior Seau spent three seasons with division rival Miami and wasn't surprised to learn Brady was the league MVP.

"There are two types of players in the league. One that wants to be great and one that needs to be great," said Seau. "Tommy positions himself every day to be great for every game. It is no surprise that he performs the way he does. Congratulations, Tom."

Even with the praise from teammates, his coach and the recognition given to him, Brady remained humble, preferring to focus on the task at hand rather than get caught up in the accolades.

"There is still plenty of football to be played this season and I look forward getting back on the field with my teammates and preparing for next weekend's game.

Brady is the third Patriot to earn league honors. Gino Cappelletti earned the honor in 1964. Patriots' running back Jim Nance earned the honor in 1966.

In addition to the single season touchdown pass record, Brady broke a number of other NFL records: 3 or more TD passes in a single season (12); Largest TD-INT differential in a single season (+42); Most consecutive games with 3 or more TD passes (10); Most consecutive games with completion percentage of 75% or higher in a single season (4) and most completions in first 100 passes of a season (79).


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