Nothing is given to you in the pros, and there's always someone trying to take your job. Brady would not still be playing 20 years after getting drafted by the New England Patriots if he didn't work extraordinarily hard every year to prove he's the best quarterback for his team.
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Brady, in an interview with ESPN before Thursday's first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, shared some words of wisdom for players hearing their name called this weekend.
"I always seem to be watching the draft in one form or another," Brady said. "It's always an exciting time for a lot of young players and a lot of young professionals who are just now entering the league in a professional way. It's a very exciting moment, but from the time you're drafted, that's really when the work starts. I try to convey that message to a lot of the young players. Although it's a great accomplishment to be drafted, the reality is your job now begins. Now you have to go out there and earn it. It's a great opportunity for all of those young men who are going to get that opportunity."
The entire draft process, including being picked so late in the sixth round, helped motivate Brady on the way to becoming one of the sport's greatest players. It's a good lesson for players who might be disappointed with where they are selected in this year's draft.
"... I always felt like I was never entitled to anything. I really wanted to go earn the trust and respect of my coaches and teammates every day, and I don't think that's changed even to this day," Brady said. "Every day I know I have to show up with the same energy and enthusiasm with the team goals in mind. I have to be the best leader I can possibly be, and I ultimately have to go out there and show I can still throw the ball around pretty good, which, I'm very confident I can do that."
2020 NFL Draft: Tom Brady shares words of wisdom for incoming rookies originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston