Tom Brady will begin his 22nd season in the NFL on Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys. Brady will again be the starting quarterback at the ripe old age of 44 as he tries to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
Why does Brady keep playing? Is there anything else he can do to add to his legacy and further cement his status as the greatest quarterback of all -time?
The NFL Network recently released their top 100 rankings of the top 100 players in the NFL, and Brady finished number seven. SEVEN? Think about that. Some people on this planet are such Brady haters that they think there are seven players better than Brady?
The NFL Network also ranked two quarterbacks ahead of Brady. Pat Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Those guys are great players in the regular season, but it has been proven over and over that Rodgers has trouble in big spots and can’t seem to win the big one.
The jury is still out on Mahomes.
Brady continues to play to win championships. By the time he has finished his career, there will be no question that he was the greatest ever to play the game. He has and will set records that will never be broken.
The critics always say that you could plug Gardener Minshew into the Tampa Bay offense and automatically win a Super Bowl. They think the talent on the Bucs supersedes Brady’s ability to lead the team.
Let’s consider a few facts regarding Tom Brady and the Buccaneers of 2020.
Brady won his seventh Super Bowl. He did this playing for a new team, a new coach, in a new offensive system, and had to adjust to new teammates. Brady joined the Bucs in the middle of a pandemic and had no preseason. He also played the entire season with a torn MCL.
Brady admitted that he didn’t begin to understand the playbook and master the offense until late in the season. Right when the Bucs went on their eight-game winning streak to win the Super Bowl.
The knock-on Brady has always been he was a product of Bill Belichick’s system. He needed Belichick to succeed. Brady didn’t have a strong arm. He couldn’t throw the deep ball. He played in the weakest division in football, the AFC East. Brady can’t win a playoff game on the road.
He annihilated all those opinions with his performance in 2020. Brady passed for 4633 yards with 40 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. Before coming home to win the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, Brady just happened to win three road playoff games in Washington, New Orleans, and Green Bay.
How Long will Brady continue to play? As long as he feels he can continue to compete for a championship, he will keep playing. That is what is driving Tom Brady. In an exclusive interview with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Brady said there is room for improvement.
It’s not like we won 20 games last year. We won 15. We were 15-5. It’s not like we were undefeated, and we were blowing teams out. There’s a lot of room for improvement, at least I feel from our offense.”
Brady also said that he wants to play indefinitely. “Hopefully, I’ll be here a long time. For many years.”
Brady is signed for the next two seasons and plans to be competing for a Super Bowl in both seasons. The Bucs are the favorites to get back to the Super Bowl in the NFC. There is a lot of talk about Green Bay being the favorite, but Aaron Rodgers will choke like he does most years in the playoffs.
With a completely healthy Brady, he could have better numbers than he did in 2020 on his way to winning another Super Bowl.
This will be the first time in 13 seasons that Brady’s knee has not been restricted in some capacity while playing. “This is the first time that I’ve been able to run and not think about it. I’m not going to turn into Michael Vick out there, but at least I’m not going to be super restricted.”
There has been no buyer’s remorse on the part of Tom Brady and his move to Tampa. “Whatever I thought I was getting into, it’s been so much better. As good as I could’ve envisioned, it’s been even more enjoyable. Tampa’s a great-kept secret. It’s a small city. Everything is close. The airport is close. Work is close. We live on the water.”
The Buccaneers open up the 2021 season against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night at Raymond James Stadium.