House sees similarities between Tom Brady, Nolan Ryan


The Patriots’ decision to use a second-round pick not on a player who will make the team better now but on a quarterback who may not take a snap that matters during his time with the team has brought into focus the question of how long starter Tom Brady will play, in New England or elsewhere.

Owner Robert Kraft recently said he hopes to keep Brady around for the rest of his career, but as time passes more and more league observers wonder whether Brady is destined to join a line of franchise quarterbacks who finished their Hall of Fame careers with another team.  From Peyton Manning to Brett Favre to Joe Montana to Joe Namath to John Unitas, the player wanted to play longer than the team with which he became a star wanted him around.

As Tom Curran of mentioned on Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Brady plans to play until he’s 43.  His personal quarterback coach, Tom House, believes Brady can pull it off.

“We know that if the athlete is willing to pay his dues — willing to do what he needs to do — he can delay the aging process, not forever, but he can slow it down,” House told Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal.  “I think Tom is going to be one of those.  I’ll put him in the same neighborhood as Nolan Ryan with his commitment to pushing that aging process back.”

House knows, because he worked with Ryan in the 1990s, as Ryan’s career lingered deep into his 40s.

“[I]t’s not just mechanics,” House said, “it’s functional strength.  It’s mental/emotional.  It’s nutrition.  It’s all the things that are required of an elite athlete.  They just have to work harder and smarter about it than they did getting to the top of their career.”

In the offseason, House and Brady talk weekly.  House will attend the team’s OTAs this week in Foxboro.

It’s not popular to contend that Brady isn’t as good as he used to be, dating back to the supposed drop by Wes Welker in Super Bowl XLVI.  Some (including me) contend that, if the ball had been delivered between the numbers, Brady would have a fourth Super Bowl ring right now.

And in the 2013 AFC title game, the Broncos opted to stop the run and to force Brady to win the game with his arm.  He couldn’t, committing more than one overthrow while trying to take advantage of Denver’s decision to take away former New England tailback LeGarrette Blount.

That doesn’t mean Brady is washed up, or that he can’t play until 43 or beyond.  At some point, however, he’ll be busting his busting his butt and counting his carbs and doing all the little things to simply be ordinary.  It’s hard to imagine a guy who has been so much more than that decide to keep working that hard so he can simply occupy a spot in the middle of the pack.

55 responses to “House sees similarities between Tom Brady, Nolan Ryan

  1. I love the Patriots, have as far back as I can remember, but that was NOT a drop by Welker. You’re absolutely right, was an awful throw. TB also has no touch on deep balls at this point. The thing is, he didn’t have great touch when he was younger either, so this isn’t a huge deal.

  2. He’s 36 right now. No use to speculate how he’s going to be in three or four years. If he does everything right, i.e. the nutrition, his body, he’ll do well. He’s not going to stop expertly reading defenses, and the fire in his gut isn’t going to burn out. I wouldn’t count on him going anywhere any time soon. He’s too smart, he’s well aware of his limitations, and I’d take him over any qb in the league, even as he gets older. He’s a team guy, not a personal stats guy, and that’s what makes NE contend year after year.

  3. Tom House was a MLB pitcher in the 70’s. He caught Hank Aaron’s record breaking home run while in the Braves bullpen in 1974.

    He was the Texas Rangers pitching coach in the 80’s and tried developing pitchers by having them throw footballs. This obviously leads one to wonder if he’s having Tom Brady throw baseballs. 😉

  4. Supposed drop by Wes Welker? He got both hands on it. That should have been a catch. It’s the NFL and the ball doesn’t always come out perfectly. If it did, I could catch it.

  5. Then trade JG when the time is right, and trade Mallett too, and then they can draft more QBs later to take those spots. Just don’t let Brady walk for nothing like what the Colts did with Peyton Manning. That is a horrible option that should not be considered.

  6. .

    Despite Brady’s workout regimen he’s still 37 and much more susceptible to injury. Having both Mallet and Garapollo on the roster gives Belichick options in the event of the unthinkable.

    If we’ve learned anything about Bill Belichick it’s that he likes versatility, options and the ability to make changes when beneficial to the club.


  7. I am far from Brady’s biggest supporter and I hate the Pats, but Welker dropped that ball. It’s just that simple. He got two hands solidly on it and didn’t catch it. That’s a drop.

  8. Brady is going to be remembered as one of the best to ever play the game.

    Look at the last few years of players lime Joe Montana in KC, or Brett Favre in NY and Minnesota. They OCCASIONALLY played like the best in the game, but more often than not, they were just average.

    I hope when Brady calls it a career, he does so before he becomes a shell of his former self, and before he decides to wear a different uniform.

  9. It should be noted that Nolan Ryan played for the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers…He only won a Championship with the Mets.

    And he beat up Robin Ventura in the best baseball fight ever.

  10. I don’t care much for second guessing the past nor assigning blame but I can understand why that one play in Super Bowl XLVI gets so much attention. The officials on the field actually were caught on the field microphone stating “that was the game” if he caught it. The fact is that the pass went incomplete and the Giants earned the victory. However, there were much bigger plays in Super Bowl XLII with the game winding down, a game with a perfect season on the line, where an interception drop by Asante Samuel or uncalled offensive holding on the pass to David Tyree (possibly the best catch in Super Bowl history) were much bigger plays but none of us here in New England are dwelling on the past. We’re enjoying the present and looking forward to the future.

  11. Baseball is no where near as physically demanding as football… i am a old pats fan and love brady, but i never saw nolan ryan throw 60 yards downfield while a 300 lb person is charging at him full speed…

  12. While Nolan Ryan had longevity, struck out a lot of guys and threw 7 no-hitters, he only won 20 games twice in his career(1973-74).

    He is a .500 career pitcher who just happened to play at a slightly above average level for 27 years.

    He was never the anchor of a pitching staff. He never won a Cy Young Award. And the one championship he did win, he was a long middle relief pitcher.

  13. It’s pretty humiliating for Patriots fans to only have gone to the Super Bowl only every other year

    I mean only 5 Super Bowl appearances in 10 years? And only 3 rings out of that?

    Obviously that’s proof they just can’t win and Brady sucks.

  14. The difference is one plays a sport that changes it’s rules every year to pander to television and accommodate its dumber-than-ever audience with no attention span, all while denying the effects of concussions and a racist team name. The other played baseball.

  15. Funny how the disdain for Brady trying to improve is headlines, but Elway’s son assaulting a girl by pushing her out of a moving car is buried near “Zimmer turning up the volume at practice.”

  16. i dont get the ” tom brady is elite” or ” tom brady is the greatest ever” bufoonery. tom brady plays has played in the weakest division his whole career facing very bad teams. he wins tye division every year by default. put him in the nfc west and he’d be average. not saying average is bad but he wouldn’t be elite. rodgers, brees are far better qb’s than brady.

  17. Peyton’s done. If you’re in denial, watch the tape of last year’s Super Bowl against the Seahawks.

  18. Brady may not be what he was in 2007, but he hasn’t lost much. No reasonable person would judge him w/o taking what he had to work with under consideration. When Gronk was in there, they had one of the highest scoring teams in the league. Denver didn’t dare Brady to beat them with his arm, they dared him to find someone to throw to besides Edelman. If Mannimg hadn’t put up such phenominal #s, Brady may have been MVP.

    Welker should have made a tough catch that he had both hands around. Still, the Giants made the plays, esp that perfect pass to Manningham.

  19. Until Brady stares down a charging Bernard Pollard, rips off his helmet, puts him in a headlock, and punches his lights out, he’s no Nolan Ryan.

  20. As a Pats fan and someone who has seen pretty much every game he has played, Brady’s ability to throw an accurate long ball has been non-existent for at least the previous three seasons, and honestly has been overrated in this skill for most of his career. He has a good arm, thats not the issue. Its just the accuracy. When he had Moss, it improved. He regularly overthrows/under throws passes 20 yards or more. He more than makes up for this with his skill sets in other areas but I dont think its a coincidence that the Patriots coaching staff load up on slot type receivers, and almost never sign or draft deep ball threats. They are trying to play up to his strength, which is the short to middle passes.

  21. I’m not even a NE fan but I need to address a few pts Mr. Florio seems to be trying to make in this article. I’m sick of hearing abt all this slippage from Brady. Look who he was throwing to last season! 3 of his top WRs were among the top 10 in both drops & drop %. He was throwing to 3 rookies and a group of mini-me’s – as tough as Edelman is he’s a 5’10 former college QB, Amendola’s a tough 5’9 WR whose never been healthy and wasn’t last season after the 1st gm, etc…it got to the pt where Austin Collie was a regular contributor! AND the seven or so gms Gronk did play resulted in Brady throwing for most yards, TDs, and highest QB rating of any QB in the NFL during that time period. In fact, if he continued on that pace, he’d have thrown for more yards than Manning did last yr – his record break in season! My pt being, you give Brady just 1 elite receiving option in Gronk and he breaks his own record! Now in terms of Welker’s drop in the SuperBowl, while it certainly wasn’t a perfect pass, a gd receiver makes that catch…period!!! Florio, bottom line, your better than this son!

  22. Wow that sounds like discounting the value of Nolan Ryan quite a bit by saying he was slightly above average. At worst it would be more fair to say he was slightly above the 75th percentile as opposed to just hovering over half of the population.

    And he probably would have won a lot more games if he played for teams that were effective at scoring runs.

  23. Nolan Ryan’s secret to longevity was Advil. He claimed he took ‘handfuls’ of them before and after every throwing session to reduce inflammation which allowed his arm to heal. Start swallowing Tom.

  24. Nolan Ryan is one of the most badass mofos in the history of pro sports. Not the biggest or meanest or strongest, necessarily. But certainly one of the badassest.

  25. Someone above wrote – Obviously that’s proof they just can’t win and Brady sucks.

    He’s right, I never thought of it that way.

  26. Blaming the super bowl loss on Brady for not throwing a perfect ball is ridiculous. There has never been a QB who has made every throw perfectly in a super bowl with the possible exception of Montana. Rodgers missed either Nelson or Jennings in the corner of the end zone at about the 2 minute mark of the SB three years ago and the pack had to settle for a FG. It would have required a great pass, but Rodgers made many better ones that day. Missing on that throw gave the Steelers one last chance and at that point the game was beyond Rodgers control. Brady is still elite. The biggest concern for a guy that age is a significant injury can be the end far more likely than it would be for a 27 year old qb.

  27. Brady has busted his butt from day 1 in the nfl. He’s often been first in last out at the Pats facilities his whole career.

  28. Brady has been on of the most accomplished QB to ever play the game. Yes, he had a marginal targets, and yes, the patriots still got to AFC championship game. That said, last year his passer rating was 17th in the league, and has continued to drop over the last four years.

    Age creeps up on us all, the body changes no matter what we do to prevent it, to deny that is foolish. anyone who watched the Pats last year cannot deny Brady was not what he was just a couple years ago. Can he continue to perform sufficiently? Only time will tell. Of course I know many Pats fans believe Brady could get to the SB as a zombie.

  29. Brady and Welker both deserve blame for the non-catch. Not one or the other.

    Brady has bad games sometimes. Anybody who has watched his career knows that. Just like any other quarterback.

    Give him an above average defense and decent special teams, and he’ll get another trophy.

  30. The most accurate passers no how to put a spin on the ball to keep the velocity. Brady throws a tight spiral and I dont think he is going to lose that until he is 50!

  31. Another slow day brings out the PFT formula to dump on Brady or Rodgers or Eli Manning or Roethlisberger or Matt Ryan Or Brees or Palmer (4,000 passing yards two years in a row and he’s still washed up) or Dalton (can’t win in playoffs) or Peyton Manning (how he failed to win another SB when he had all of these great receivers) or any NFL QB.

    BTW, sure Brady over-threw lots of receivers against Denver, but the game tape shows his protection was poor and his receivers played even more poorly. It sure is bad form to ignore these realities. Every NFL QB is only as good as the team on the roster and the Patriots have had a suspect O-line and defense for the past 6 years.

  32. It’s not popular to contend that Brady isn’t as good as he used to be, dating back to the supposed drop by Wes Welker in Super Bowl XLVI. Some (including me) contend that, if the ball had been delivered between the numbers, Brady would have a fourth Super Bowl ring right now.


    First of all, it was in Welkers hands… so as we all say, if a receiver has both hands on it at this level they should come down with it. But let’s say for a second you are right that Brady could have made a better throw and Weker would have had it. What’s to say Brady would have made a better throw at any other time in his career? It has nothing to do with him getting worse. He let Manning come back in 2oo6 and lost the Super Bowl in 2007 when he was clearly in his prime. I think he would take every missed pass back if he could.

    2001-2004 he missed way more then he does now… He just had a better defense.

  33. And in the 2013 AFC title game, the Broncos opted to stop the run and to force Brady to win the game with his arm. He couldn’t, committing more than one overthrow while trying to take advantage of Denver’s decision to take away former New England tailback LeGarrette Blount.


    What game were you watching? Manning won that game controlling the clock and running the ball themselves and limiting Brady’s opportunities. Manning did exactly what Brady used to do to him.

    Brady could have played way better, sure, but be honest that that team wasn’t winning the Super Bowl and were lucky to get where they did (mostly because of Brady heroics).

  34. Brady lost his top five receivers before the start of last season, some after the draft. Still, he was one game from the Superbowl.

    Do you think Cam newton will make it to the NFCCG this year?

    How about if Peyton loses his top 5 receivers?

    This was last year, with Brady’s “skills on the decline. ” This year’s WR squad will be much improved along with their defense, just watch.

  35. After the Patriots defense was gutted by major injuries, Brady continued to pull games out of the fire. He may have slowed down, but he’s still in the argument as being one of the top 3-4 QBs in the league. As opined by bull charger above, the Patriots non-existent pass rush (dating back to Willie McGinest’s release) is the main reason for not having a total of 4 or 5 Lombardi trophies.

  36. Tom Brady gave his team the lead with 3 minutes to play in both Super Bowl losses to the Giants.

    Drops by Asante Samuel and Wes Welker respectively is all that’s keeping Brady from FIVE Super Bowl rings and serious GOAT consideration, and I do believe another Super Bowl (or two) is not an unreasonable goal for him.

  37. Sure because as an aging Qb with a demanding wife and nothing much left to prove, he has far more incentive to keep in shape then…say…when he came out for the draft.

  38. I wonder how long Nolan Ryan would have played if he had 250lb guys diving at his legs while he was delivering each pitch?

    Poor comparison.

  39. I’m neither a pats or brady fan by any stretch, but he has proved to be effective given the right tools. when the hoodie gave him hernandez and gronk, innovative at the time for the nfl, he lit it up. given the dearth of receiving talent and depth of injuries this past year, i’d say getting to the championship game was quite an accomplishment by the pats.

  40. Watch the tape. If Brady hit Welker in the numbers in the Super Bowl, Welker would not be playing today. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but Welker would have gotten KILLED! Brady made the right throw on that play. Maybe a little high, but it hit BOTH hands.

    And last year’s AFCCG, I’m sorry, but he wasn’t exactly throwing to Demayrius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker et al. No Gronk. No outside threat at WR. No running game. And they were STILL only a 2 point conversion and an on side kick from making that game REAL interesting IN Denver.

    Is he REALLY losing it? Has he not guided the Pats to 3 straight AFCCGs?

  41. Pretty sure brady was playing with a separated shoulder because of a justin tuck hit earlier in the game.

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