Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/27/12
This isn’t Tom Brady‘s first rodeo. As a matter of fact this season marks his eighth selection to the Pro Bowl, something nobody would have predicted when he was drafted 199th overall back in 2000. But this year, Brady is joined by six other Patriots teammates on the AFC roster. Rob Gronkowski (second selection), Logan Mankins (fifth), Jerod Mayo (second), Matthew Slater (second), Wes Welker (fifth) and Vince Wilfork (fifth) are all slated to join Brady in Honolulu in late January, and many of them were quick to express how honored they felt. Brady called it “flattering.” Slater felt “thankful. Wilfork was “humbled.” But Mayo might have put it best by calling the group’s selection “a reflection of our overall team success.” While Brady and his teammates seem to appreciate the nod as members of the NFL’s All-Star game, they’re much more focused on the larger task at hand. which would make their Pro Bowl selections obsolete. This year, the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl, meaning players on those Super Bowl teams will forego their place in Hawaii. So, after the devastating end to last season, with a heartbreaking loss in the Super Bowl, the Patriots are looking to get back to the big game and make good on their opportunity this time around. “One day, I am sure I will have a greater appreciation for individual accomplishments,” Brady said, ensuring his focus was solely on the team’s success. “But this week my focus is simply on our preparations for Miami.” Brady isn’t alone in that mindset, though. Many of his Patriots teammates share the same sort of team-first attitude, which itself encompasses Bill Belichick‘s entire philosophy and is exactly the outlook they’ll need to reach New Orleans come February. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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