Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman says Tom Brady’s call for more time off was a ruse to give him another subtle advantage

Tom brady 2020
Tom Brady. Jason Behnken/AP Images
  • Tom Brady called for NFL players to skip workouts as they negotiate a new offseason program.
  • According to Troy Aikman, Brady’s call for action was just another way for him to gain an advantage.
  • “If teams are practicing less … that’s going to give him a leg up,” Aikman said.
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Tom Brady is always looking for an edge.

Whether it’s brushing off a hangover for an early morning workout, or partaking in a bit of trash talk, Brady is as competitive a player as the NFL has ever seen.

Brady’s competiveness is so well known, that Hall of Fame quarterback turned NFL broadcaster Troy Aikman believes that Brady’s comments on offseason workouts earlier in the spring were another attempt to find an edge over his opponents.

In May, with prominent players on several teams skipping offseason workouts, Brady encouraged his fellow players to take a stand.

“We shouldn’t have overly competitive drills in May and June,” Brady said during a call with the NFL Players Association, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “There’s no (bleeping) pro baseball player that’s throwing 153km/h in the middle of December.”

Appearing as a guest on the “Flying Coach” podcast with Rams coach Sean McVay and NFL analyst Peter Schrager, Aikman said that Brady’s comments were confusing at first, until he figured out the reason behind them.

“I was surprised to hear Tom Brady say the players need more time off. He was very vocal. It shocked me, because I know Tom well,” Aikman said.

“And then I realized, that’s the greatness of Tom Brady, because I can assure you, he’s not taking those days off, and that team is not taking those days off. And so he views it as a total competitive advantage. If teams are practicing less, and he’s practicing more, that’s going to give him a leg up on the competition, and I think that was really the whole motivation for those comments.”

Aikman said that while he wasn’t sure what the right balance between practice and time off was during the offseason, the best players know that it takes time to become great.

“I’m all for getting rested,” Aikman said. “But at some point you have to pose the question – do you want to be great or not? Do you want to be a great team? Do you want to be a great player? And if you do, you’ve got to put in the time.”

Brady has had success in leading his teams in offseason workouts, whether or not they were officially led by the team.

After joining the Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason, Brady was working out in public parks even as official NFL practices were delayed due to COVID-19.

For Brady and his teammates, offseason workouts are going to be happening whether the Buccaneers are involved or not.

In Aikamn’s eyes, if players on other teams are offered some extra days of rest, it’s just another advantage that Brady is going to have over the competition.