After Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to a wild comeback from a 28-3 deficit in the Super Bowl, many thought he had cemented his status as the GOAT, the greatest quarterback of all time.
However, Brady is not the greatest NFL quarterback of all time, according to one man — Brady himself.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Brady deflected that title and argued what many people have said about his career: that he’s a product of the Patriots’ rock-solid system.
“I don’t agree with that, and I’ll tell you why. I know myself as a player. I’m really a product of what I’ve been around, who I was coached by, what I played against, in the era I played in. I really believe if a lot of people were in my shoes they could accomplish the same kinds of things. So I’ve been very fortunate. … I don’t ever want to be the weak link.”
Brady is not the first to argue this. While Brady’s talent and hard work can’t be denied, some believe he’s benefitted from playing under Bill Belichick and a system that seamlessly plugs and replaces players without much change. Without a great scheme (not to mention some great teammates along the way), would Brady still be the player he is today?
Of course, Belichick himself has pulled back the curtains on some of his philosophies, too. For instance, according to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, Belichick’s personnel strategy isn’t all that complex — he just coaches players he likes. There isn’t some magical formula that makes the Patriots good. Belichick coaches and the players execute.
Brady also admitted to O’Connor that part of his success is because he’s out-worked everyone else.
“I think there are many more players blessed with more ability. I’ve worked hard with what I’ve been given … and I’ve had to go about making improvements in different ways. If I was doing the things everyone else is doing, I wouldn’t have the same results.
“I’m still 100 per cent invested in helping this team win. I never want to let my teammates down. My lifestyle choices got me to this point. … Football is more than just what I do. It consumes me.”
Brady could just be acting humble. He has certainly out-worked his peers to become the player he is today, even if he’s had some help along the way. Even with five titles and an already historic legacy under his belt, Brady and the Patriots are in position to continue dominating this season, giving Brady a chance to further cement his legacy.
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