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Tom Brady is ‘the best teammate I’ve ever been around,’ says first-year New England Patriot Cody Kessler

MassLive.com logo MassLive.com 11/15/2019 By Christopher Mason, masslive.com

FOXBOROUGH — Cody Kessler could be relegated to wallflower duty.

A third-string quarterback that’s been on and off the Patriots roster, he’s stuck behind rookie Jarrett Stidham on the depth chart. Oh, and he’s looking up at six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, too.

But Kessler owns a unique distinction heading into Sunday’s game in Philadelphia: An Eagle during the preseason, Kessler is the only man in the world to share a quarterback room with Brady and Carson Wentz in 2019.

When asked what stands out to him about each quarterback, Kessler gave it some thought, praised both players, then went on an unprompted (and unexpected) detour.

“In my opinion, (Brady) is the best teammate I’ve ever been around,” Kessler said. "It’s been awesome for me to share the quarterback room with him. He’s been very open, any question I have, he’s been answering those.

"He’s, in my opinion, the best to ever play the game at that position. So it’s been awesome to get to learn from him. The things he does day in and day out. His drive. Doing it for so long and he still has that competitive mentality that we all have coming out and being hungry, wanting to be great.

“For me, I’ve just been jotting stuff down here and there in my notebook and just trying to pick things from him: The way he prepares, to watching film, he does things every day. Taking that on the practice field. And the conversations he has with guys on the team, getting guys to follow him.”

Kessler certainly likes Wentz too, they were in the same draft class, but it’s clear he reveres Brady.

So what is it that makes a great teammate?

Kessler is on his fourth NFL team, and a starter at USC, he’s been in dozens of different locker rooms. He’s had hundreds of teammates, and including youth football, the number probably eclipses a thousand.

So at 42 years old, how does Brady stand out above the rest?

“I think it’s just,” Kessler paused. "What he does on the field... that’s a big part of leadership, but not the only thing. And for him, it’s just the way he communicates with guys.

“Who he is, and what he’s done in his career... You wouldn’t know that with the way he goes about this place. The way he walks around here. The way he communicates and talks to everybody. As a quarterback that’s big, because you want those guys to buy into you, not only a quarterback but as a teammate, as a leader. It’s been great for me to pick up every little thing I can from Tom."

In his 20th season, Brady is still selling his teammates on what he’s trying to accomplish. Kessler’s comments might as well be a CVS-length receipt.

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