Deja vu, all over again?

Seventeen years ago, the Patriots defeated the Rams by the score of 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI.  It was New England’s first Super Bowl championship.  This was the beginning of a dynasty.

In an era when the NFL has tried to create parity among the teams, one team has consistently risen to the top, cultivated by Robert Kraft.

Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994.  Under the previous ownership, the Patriots had only 6 playoff appearances in 34 years.  Since Kraft purchased the team, they have made the playoffs 19 times in 24 years.

When interviewed this week, he was asked, “How does that continuity lead to success?  How have you kept that team together?”

  • Attract good people.

“In life, if you want to develop something that has sustainability, you try to attract good people that fit your culture.  The trick to that is to make sure there is never division from within.  There can be a lot of different opinions…You get everyone to keep it together.  You get everyone to check their ego at the front door.”

  • Make changes that only bring improvement.

“I never make a change unless I make an improvement.”

  • Create an environment where people can work to the best of their abilities.

“We have created an environment where (he) can work to the best of his abilities.”

  •  Stay completely focused on the game.

“We make sure that people are completely focused on nothing else but the game, doing what they can to close the order.”

Robert Kraft on Keeping Patriots’ Tom Brady and Bill Belichick Together

Here’s some more tidbits of wisdom inspiration from Tom Brady.

“If you’re going to beat the best, be the best.”

“I didn’t come in with the opportunity to play right away.  I had to earn it.”

“He is such a competitor.  He brings so much fire and belief.”

“This was a young man who patiently waited for his chance to play…He never complained; he just performed.”

“He is the definition of a force multiplier.  He’s going to multiply the play of everyone around him.”

“Football is a game of struggle.  Tom Brady embraced the struggle.”

“Tom Brady always had leadership.  Tom Brady always believed in himself.”

Tom Brady – Dawn of the G.O.A.T.