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Aug 15, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) gets past New England Patriots defensive tackle Marcus Forston (98) during the preseason game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady: 'We won't know for a while' if Patriots are contenders

Tom Brady may not have seen it all in the NFL, but he’s as close as anyone to that point. He knows how long the season can run and he knows how often the narratives changes. That’s why he was even-keeled when asked about his team’s chances despite New England’s big offseason that saw them lure top cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner among others.

“I don’t think you know what kind of team you have until December,” Brady said on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, per “There’s a lot of mental toughness that comes into play. A lot of discipline and work ethic, decision-making that really doesn’t play out in August or September.”

As usual, the Patriots stand as the heavy favorite to win the AFC East, but preseason talk does little to sway Brady, who knows how quickly a team’s fortune can change in the NFL.

“It’s not something that you can just say ‘well, we are going to be better because we changed this guy for that guy and this play for this play,” Brady said. “The determination, the work ethic, the mental toughness doesn’t kick in until you’ve lost a few games and you have battled back. That’s what football is all about, so that’s why you start in September, you end in December and you see where you are at after that. We aren’t going to know for a while.””

Tom Brady and the Patriots will get their first lesson on the 2014 season when they take the field for Week 1 and visit the Miami Dolphins, who will have something to say about the Pats’ status atop the AFC East. From there, we’ll start to learn who’s who in the NFL.

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Tags: New England Patriots Tom Brady

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