By: Rohan Bommaraju — Sports Editor
Tom Brady is in his twenty-first NFL season and playing some of the best football that he has ever played. He has thrown for the second-most touchdowns in a single season for his career, and his 5th most yards in a season.
On a new team with basically no offseason, he was able to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl however, he is using different tactics to motivate himself to win. “I think [being picked at 199] motivated Brady earlier in his career, and motivates other players who were drafted later than other players at their respective positions, but he’s probably past the point where that serves as a pressing concern. Brady has been considered one of the best quarterbacks in football for nearly 20 years now,” said ESPN sportswriter Bill Barnwell.
For Brady like most of the Buccaneers’ players, they need to win this Superbowl for the head coach Bruce Arians, and for them, it’s a great motivator. “I think everyone wants to win for him… He’s a great man. A great leader. A great person. A great friend. He’s very loyal. He’s just got a great way about communicating effectively with everybody around here,” said Brady during his post-practice press conference on January 28th.
“Everybody has a great affection for him, for the person he is … There’s nobody that would ever say anything bad about BA. He’s just so endearing to everybody. And I think everyone wants to win for him,” added Brady.
Brady not only wants to win for Bruce Arians but Bill Barnwell says he wants to win more championships. “It’s impossible to see into the future, but I think the vast majority of the evidence says that Tom Brady will never get tired of competing for a championship. He’s already won more Super Bowls than any player in football history, and yet, past the age of 40, he’s still competing at a high enough level to make it to a tenth championship game,” added Barnwell.
Barnwell says that as Brady has gotten older, he think his motivations have changed and evolved. “In his last Super Bowl run with the Patriots, Brady was motivated by the idea that people thought he and the Patriots weren’t any good. This time, perhaps, he’s motivated by the idea of winning without Bill Belichick. In any case, having accomplished arguably more than any player in NFL history, I don’t see any reason he would get tired of competing to go to the Super Bowl,” added Barnwell.
Motivation is not the main reason why Brady is still playing at an elite level, Brady’s work ethic plays a major role in it as well. “It’s so impressive seeing how strong his arm is, how accurate he is, even at 43… He’s still at the top of his game,” said Buccaneers Wide Reciever Chris Goodwin in a December 2020 press conference.
“He’s still able to really produce. That’s a testament to just how hard he works and how well he keeps his body in shape,” Goodwin added.
Barnwell says that whatever Brady is doing is working for him. “He’s playing at a high level later into his career than any player ever has. In addition, while we saw Drew Brees slow down during his age-41 season in 2020, Brady is 43 and still has the same zip on his passes he had 10 or 15 years ago. It’s impossible to prove directly that Brady’s diet has led to his longevity, but just as his nutritional approach is unique, so is his longevity,” added Barnwell.
As for anything that is great we want to know when will it happen next, for Montana we got Brady, but Barnwell says it would be extremely difficult for someone to play up to the bar Brady has set. “We’ve never seen anybody in the history of football with Tom Brady’s career path. At the same time, we’ve seen more quarterbacks playing deep into their thirties and even, now, into their forties than we did in decades past,” said Barnwell.
“My guess is that those quarterbacks [Patrick Mahomes, Deshawn Watson, and Tua Tongoviloa] will have spectacular careers, but none of them will be competing for Super Bowls as they turn 43. If they do, we’ll be very lucky to have watched them play,” added Barnwell.
image from independent.co.uk