Tom Brady inspires inspirational ESPY winner Rob Mendez

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may not have been among the many New England players at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night but apparently his spirit was there, channeled through one of the event’s more inspirational award winners.

The 2019 Jimmy V Award was presented to high school football coach Rob Mendez. Coach Mendez has found success leading and inspiring young athlete despite the fact that he’s relegated to a wheel chair after being born without both arms and legs.

After accepting the award and sharing an emotional and energetic message of pushing boundaries in his on-stage speech – “Who says I can’t go further?” -- ESPN shared on social media an off-stage video of Mendez tracing the roots of his own driven mentality to Brady’s well-documented competitive nature and leadership.

“That's where I got my passion for football, was from Tom Brady,” Mendez said.

Jimmy V Award winner Rob Mendez says if he could, he'd give an ESPY to Tom Brady for being an inspiration."That's where I got my passion for football, was from Tom Brady." #ESPYS pic.twitter.com/uxxsbgxnN9

— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 11, 2019