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Tom Brady’s intensity drives his thirst to win

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“Winning, I think that’s the ultimate thing. That’s why we play.” Winning drives Tom Brady, one of the league’s most intense players. It defines him.

He’s won more playoff games than any quarterback in NFL history. Only two quarterbacks, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, have won more Super Bowls.

That’s the prize – a fourth Super Bowl ring – he seeks Sunday when his New England Patriots meet the Seattle Seahawks in his sixth Super Bowl appearance.

“I try to save it up all week, and you try to just keep it all in and just let it rip when you need to,” said Brady.

He lets it rip in his own way, unexpectedly head-butting receivers and running backs to celebrate a touchdown, sometimes perhaps too intensely.

A week after a Brady to Julian Edelman head-butt, Edelman was out with a concussion.

“I don’t know if it’s intimidating,” said Edelman. “But it’s definitely confusing sometimes, when you’re on a special teams play and Tom Brady’s in the end zone, your like, what the heck?”

Brady has been known to throw his helmet in practice. “He wants to be perfect,” said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. “Anytime you get somebody chasing perfection it’s going to get crazy. We’ve seen Tom throw his helmet in practice so when we get him like that we know we got him.’’

His intensity rises to a new level on game day. “There’s three different Toms,” said wide receiver Brandon Lafell. “The guy that you see in OTA’s (the offseason), that you see him joking and laughing, the guy you see at practice and there’s game day Tom. It’s the game day Tom, that’s the guy you want on your field.”

That guy on the field isn’t satisfied with three rings; he wants more, even more than Bradshaw and Montana. It’s all about winning.

“He’s done a lot of things in his career,” said Edelman, “but knowing him he doesn’t really care about that. He cares about the next step. That’s a great thing to be around.”

Graphic: Anthony Marroquin