Tom Brady had the best year of his career in 2016.
The former quarterback led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win, leading them to a sixth title in eight seasons.
In this installment of ESPN The Magazine’s “Dont’AHLY” series, Hightowers talks about the difference between being a pro and being a rookie.
Tom Brady had a great year.
I think the biggest thing is, you have to have the mindset that you can do whatever you want to do.
You’ve got to get out there and do it.
I remember when I was at Oklahoma State, I got to play in the Orange Bowl and I was in the end zone and there was a big guy in the stands that looked like the guy that I was playing against, and he said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ and I said, “It’s not me.”
I knew what he meant, because I’m from the state of Oklahoma, so I’ve never been that close to the guys who were playing.
You’ve just got to be like, “I want to be that guy.”
The other thing, the mindset is, I can do anything.
And you just gotta have the mentality that you know that you’re capable of doing whatever you put your mind to.
Tom Hightoresse was the best player in the AFC East for the second straight season.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Hightowers: We all had the same thing: I just knew I was good enough to be a Pro Bowl.
And then you’ve got the guys that went before you.
And so the one thing that you had to do to be in that conversation was to have a mindset that was like, I’m good enough.
I’m a guy that can play.
I’ve got a lot of experience in this league.
I know the system.
I can make plays.
I got the arm.
I have the toughness.
I was the first guy to go down, but the next guy, he’s like, ‘Oh my God, you were just one of those guys that could do it.’
And so that was the mindset.
And now, obviously, it’s a different league, but you just have to know how to keep your mind in that place and just be patient.
If you don’t have that mentality, you’re not going to be able to take the next step.
I don’t think you can be able.
It takes a lot to make it happen.