Charles Woodson and Tom Brady go back a long way. They were teammates at Michigan, and the famous “tuck rule” play joins them forever in NFL history. And now, more than two decades after they became college teammates, Woodson wonders if we’re not finally seeing the beginning of the end of Brady.
Woodson said today on ESPN that he saw Brady appear in Pittsburgh on Sunday like the hits are taking a toll on his 41-year-old body, and he’s avoiding contact even at the expense of missing throws he used to make.
“I just think the NFL is catching up to Tom Brady,” Woodson said. “I think he’s actually starting to feel all the hits, all the sacks of the NFL. It happens to every player. It happened to myself as a player . . . at some point in time it just catches up with you.”
Woodson pointed to two plays, an interception that Brady tried to throw out of bounds and an incompletion on his last pass of the game, as plays that he thinks Brady would have made in the past.
“I think Tom Brady, he made that throw — awful interception that he threw,” Woodson said. “I felt like the last play he threw, I thought he had a chance to hit Cordarrelle Patterson in the back of the end zone if he just stepped into the pocket, but like I said, I think the hits are getting to him, and you see him trying to get the ball get out of his hand to avoid taking those hits.”
Although Brady has not played quite as well this year as he did last year, he remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Woodson may be right that Brady has slipped a bit, but he is still better at age 41 than all but a handful of NFL starting quarterbacks.