At 37-years-old, Tom Brady isn’t the player he once was, but according to color commentator – and former Patriot teammate – Ross Tucker, number 12, through “sheer force of will,” is still one of the best QB’s in the league today.
“Couldn’t you just see it Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals? It was in his eyes, it was in his body language and it rubbed off on the team around him. He has an ability to get the guys around him to play at a level that they themselves didn’t even know they were capable of.”
After fans and critics expressed their doubts about this year’s team and QB, the Patriots made a statement with their demolition of the previously unbeaten Bengals.
“I’m going to make 12 look like Tom Brady,” Rob Gronkowski said after the Patriots’ win on Sunday, “And I went out there with my teammates, and we made Tom Brady look like Tom Brady after you guys were criticizing him all week… He’s such a leader, and went over 50,000 yards today. He’s an unbelievable player, and I’m so glad to play with him.”
His physical tools might have regressed in recent years, but Brady’s ability to motivate his teammates certainly hasn’t diminished; on one hand, every player wants to win because, honestly, that’s the basic principle of any sport. On the other, Brady, a leader who can inspire a locker room of full-grown men to win a game strictly on his behalf, is in a league of his own.
Such fierce loyalty only manifests through intense dedication to the team both on and off the field.
It’s born by being the first guy to arrive at the field everyday:
Ross Tucker, “can probably count on one hand the number of guys that ever got to the facility in the morning before [he] did. Brady was one of them. [Tucker] lived five minutes from the stadium; [Brady] had to live at least 45 minutes away in Boston.”
It’s fostered by showing your teammates you’re willing to do the little things to get better:
“Brady is famously slow, at least among his teammates, yet that never stopped him from doing offseason agility drills over and over again in order to post a better time.”
It’s cemented by proving, at the end of the day, you’re just another one of the guys:
Tucker recalls a specific incident, “when some of the veteran offensive linemen started talking to the rookies about a chugging contest… I was surprised to see Brady take part. The rookies looked at the seemingly pretty boy quarterback and laughed. I think I snickered myself. We all should’ve known better. I still have never seen anybody chug a beer faster than Tom Brady. You should’ve seen the way he slammed down his cup — it was like he was spiking the ball after a TD. It was hilarious. It was awesome. It was textbook Brady.”
He might be old. He might be the slowest player in the NFL. His first four performances of this season may have looked like they came from 2001’s banged up Drew Bledsoe, rather than the All-Pro stud that replaced him.
Don’t let that fool you.
He’s still the same Tom Brady that marries models, wears Uggs and wins championships.
In other words, Brady’s not only one of the best in league but also one of the greatest of all-time.