Patriots’ Ben Watson marvels at Tom Brady’s physical and mental toughness: ‘He’s an inspiration’

New England Patriots tight end Ben Watson has been Tom Brady’s teammate on two different occasions, and he’s awestruck.

Watson played for the Patriots from 2004 to 2009 and again during the 2019 season.

The 39-year-old tight end expressed to ESPN before his game against the Miami Dolphins how remarkable it was for Brady to play 16 games at the age of 42.

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“Amazing. There are certain guys that have an innate ability to play and are able to withstand the pressure and hits and the mental and physical side of it,” Watson told ESPN. “We all know [Brady] takes care of his body, but I don’t think we really understand the extent to which he deals with a lot of injuries, and the commitment he has through those.”

Brady’s desire to play a few more seasons inspired Watson, especially as the quarterback doubled down on that notion during the season as retirement rumors swirled throughout 2019. Watson praised Brady’s physical and mental toughness to get through all of it.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, passing under pressure from Miami Dolphins defensive end Trent Harris Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, passing under pressure from Miami Dolphins defensive end Trent Harris Sunday in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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“That’s another side of it,” Watson said. “There’s a physical side of it, but that mental and emotional component has to be so strong in order to last for 20 years in a sport as intense as NFL football.

“He’s an inspiration. Every time I see him here, next to my locker, I think to myself, ‘I’m going to be telling my grandkids about that.’ He’s just a guy, like all of us, and we have conversations. But, when you sit back as a football fan and think about all he has done, it really is incredible the fact he is still an elite quarterback.”

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Coming into the Dolphins game, Watson had recorded 16 catches for 169 yards in nine games.

He had yet to score a touchdown during the year.

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