Brady's reaction to No. 1 ranking

July, 3, 2011
7/03/11
10:10
PM ET
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a guest on NFL Network after being named the No. 1 player in the “Top 100 Players” poll voted on by players.

His reaction to being named the top player by his peers?

“Thanks Lindsay [Soto] and I appreciate you guys having me on, and I hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July weekend,” Brady answered (video on NFL.com). “It’s very flattering. I think I’ve been really fortunate over the years to play with an incredible organization and an incredible group of players. This year was really a great year for our team in the regular season. We accomplished some great things. The things that I love about football, that I’ve always loved, that I think draws each player in the NFL to this game, is that it’s a team sport. The great teammates that I’ve ever had, the teammates I had this year, nobody would really accomplish anything without the help of every single guy on that team and every coach. It’s very flattering, like I said, but ultimately I give all the thanks to teammates past and present. They’re what really makes this game special for me.”

After answering questions on Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis, lauding their excellence, Brady was asked how to went from sixth-round draft choice to superstar despite not playing with many big-name stars on offense.

"To me, I play with the best guys. There's nobody -- Deion Branch and Wes Welker, there are no two better receivers; those are the two guys I'd want to play with every single game," he answered. "David Givens and Troy Brown and David Patten, these incredible players we've had over the years that have led to the success of the organization at the skill positions -- and Corey Dillon and Antowain Smith. I've played with phenomenal players, Christian Fauria at tight end, and we have some young tight ends now.

"Each of these guys leaves a lasting impact on our team, and our offense has always been built around the players that we have and it's built around their strengths. I think we've had incredible players both offensively and defensively, and the competitiveness that we've played against each other in practice, I think is the reason we've continued to improve as a team year in and year out. That's really brought on by our coach. I think he really stresses that. It's very competitive in practice. Really, the guys that make it on our team are guys that last, guys that play significant roles on our team are guys that are professionals, that want to work, that love the game, and ultimately that want to be champions."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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