Continued from page 1

Brady is the first Patriots player selected NFL MVP. He drew 49 of the 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members who regularly cover the NFL. Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, the only three-time MVP, got the other vote.

“He deserves it,” Belichick said. “I have thought for a long time that there is no past or present quarterback I’d rather coach than Tom Brady, and I am more certain of that every year he plays.”

Only in one game, a 20-10 win over the Jets, did Brady not throw for a touchdown. He had 12 games with at least three touchdown passes.

Those are great stats, but they hardly tell the entire story. Brady’s leadership skills overshadow just about everything.

Tom’s one of those guys that goes out there and tries to perform and compete every week,” center Dan Koppen said. “He gives maximum effort on every play and every game. What he did was outstanding, but I know he wants more than that. That’s what you need in your quarterback.”

The previous two MVP awards went to running backs LaDainian Tomlinson (2006) and Shaun Alexander (2005). Before that, quarterbacks won four in a row: Peyton Manning in 2004 and in 2003, when he shared it with Steve McNair; Rich Gannon in 2002; and Kurt Warner in 2001.