Patriots Talk: Understanding The Competitiveness of Tom Brady
The spring season came and left seemingly without pause and with the warm weather, summer is officially here. With teams entering training camp as the NFL season will be kicking off in 85 days, many will be wondering what will the Patriots do as they are coming in as favorites to make a repeat this year and Tom Brady is the most likely to earn MVP nods in 2017. However, the five-time Super Bowl champion was so aggravated at Thursday practice when he threw an easy interception during practice he out something that many would likely never hear from anybody else. “I’m the worst quarterback in the NFL.”
— Sean Leahy (@leahysean) June 13, 2017
Now, this is an over exaggerated statement. Everybody who knows what Brady has accomplished over his 17 years as the Patriots starter, knows he is a future first ballot Hall of famer. However, he is someone who puts massive pressure upon himself as both the leader of the team and the oldest one among them. With such high expectations coming into the 2017 season, its further fuel to a red hot fire under Brady. Julian Edelman commented on this as just the per usual when it comes to practice:
“Just playing around him for as long as I have,” said Julian Edelman, who wasn’t surprised to hear Brady be so hard on himself, “you expect nothing less from a guy like that because he’s got a standard. There’s an old saying that coach (Josh) McDaniels said to us, that if you want to be a champion, you have to have championship standards. And championship standards don’t know what time of year it is. I’m sure Tom probably has that kind of saying going on.”
While I slightly doubt Edelman on that kind of saying, I do agree with him on the idea of his standards. Brady has been regarded, at this point in his career, as the greatest Quarterback of all time, especially after Super Bowl LI solidifying his legacy. But it seems that Brady will likely not quit even though there isn’t much left for him to prove.
He has the most Super Bowl titles of any Quarterback in NFL history (5), the most Super Bowl MVPs in NFL history (4), has been to seven consecutive AFC championships (the most of any Quarterback in NFL history) and has been seen among the best of his generation against future Hall of Famers such as Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees. While it would seem on the surface, Brady already beats all the players I just named, nobody in sports paints things black or white. Brady has played only under one coach his whole career: Bill Belichick.
No matter what Brady will do, Belichick will be the one his name will be tied to. The same is said for Belichick as well, without the wins he has with Tom Brady, he is under .500 as a head coach. Brady’s drive to prove himself comes from his wanting to be perfect. Simple mistakes like the one he made have fueled his drive to bring out his best.
And based on his accomplishments, it won’t ever seemingly be enough for him. Brady even during practice won’t afford anything but his absolute best. Another perfect capturing of his crazy work ethnic was seen on Wednesday. After Brady delivers his final pass to new [Running Back] Rex Burkhead to make a first down to set up a game winning field goal to end their practice on a high note. For most, that is a perfect way to end practice, as many starters took a knee afterwards and let the 3rd-stringers like Jacoby Brissett take over.
However, Brady wasn’t satisfied. He went over to the other end of the field and began planking. With the recent weather, it would be well above 90 degrees (possibly more since the field’s turf would cause the humanity to worsen) and Brady already finished all his drills for the day with enough intensity that back up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, needed to be sidelined for muscle tension in his left leg. Yet Brady still did it anyway. It seems incredible to know he has held this type of competitiveness all his life as many have doubted he would be where he is today. I think that Brady hopes to exceed even his own expectations, which with how hard he pushes himself, would be a Hall of Fame worthy feat at this point.