Tom Brady: I was always motivated by people doubting me, and I still feel that way

Los Angeles Chargers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Getty Images

After seven Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady doesn’t have many doubters left. But he finds motivation in believing he’s been doubted.

Brady told Michael Strahan that a big part of his motivation in his first season with the Buccaneers was believing that people had given up on him and thought he should retire.

“I was always kind of motivated by people that say ‘you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, don’t have a good enough arm,’” Brady said. “I’ve had a body of work over a period of time, so you know, you just say, hey, quickly you forget. I think that’s a great part about football. It’s not really about what you did last year, it’s kind of what you’re going to do this year, so for me it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way.”

Brady has famously memorized the names of the six quarterbacks selected before him in the 2000 NFL draft, so using doubts as motivation has been with him as long as he’s been in the NFL. And he’s surely heading into the 2021 season convinced that everyone doubts he can win Super Bowl No. 8.

47 responses to “Tom Brady: I was always motivated by people doubting me, and I still feel that way

  1. People who have watched sports for over 50 years have never seen a 43 year old man continue to perform at this level, and more importantly manage to stay on the field avoiding injuries. It raises eyebrows.

  2. Sorry. Not buying it. He doesn’t need that kind of motivation. Just the opposite. He is supremely confident. If anything he is a narcicist.
    And he neeeds to get over the draft thing. He was a skinny underdeveloped kid with little to show for his college career. He was drafted right where he should have been.

  3. “The Brady Six” on Youtube. Highly recommended. It was done after he had won 3 Super Bowls, and the really revealing part is toward the end, when he is describing how he felt when the draft got into the late rounds and he still hadn’t been drafted, and he breaks down in tears thinking about it. This after winning 3 Super Bowls! He still had not gotten over being passed over like that.

  4. Sometimes people need to get over themselves. If Tom was drafted #1 or #2, no way he has the same success he has had. So, he should be thankful instead worrying about why 6 QBs went ahead of him. And to be honest, being drafted at #199, it’s not about what position you play at that point, most teams are just picking the best player on the board, regardless of position. He was a camp arm who worked his way up. Bledsoe get injured and he got his shot and definitely made the best of it. However, the Patriots dumbed down the system for Brady and they basically played Ravens football, which made Brady a bonafide game manager. But people seem to forget this and act like Brady was spectacular out the gate. He was managing the game, playing not to lose, on a great team with a great coach while Manning was playing to win and gobbling up MVPs. Brady should be happy about where he was drafted and his fortune with the Patriots because he was never considered a great college QB (although he should have been the starter) and came in with no expectations. Sure he’s the Goat with all of his big stage games. But not even in the top 5 of NFL historically best QBs. Sorry Tommy, I will always be a doubter. Your jump to a stacked Tampa team didn’t prove a whole lot to me. Football is the ultimate team sport, which you have clearly benefited from like no other.

  5. Tom Brady still has the delusional New England doubters who believe that Bill Belichick is responsible for the Patriot’s success while Brady played there.

    Lets see the Patriots have another losing season with Cam or Jimmy Glass as their QB.

  6. You won TB, you proved everyone wrong, after 21 years let it go already.

  7. No doubts here. TB12 is the GOAT, and by the time he retires he’ll not only have the most rings but he’ll have broken all the career passing records. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if his final goal is to play longer than Blanda. Go ahead and doubt him haters, it’ll just motivate him more.

  8. There is a fine line between anger and motivation. Sometimes in life you have to find a real FU attitude to conquer life’s toughest obstacles. Can be a relationship issue, a work issue, a health problem etc but sometimes you gotta dig deep down inside yourself to find out who you really are. I was told my life would never be the same after major heart surgery many years ago. That made me very angry at the nurses who were telling me that and I used that anger to fight off a deadly disease. 10+ years my life is not the same. It’s much better because I chose to be a survivor. So I get it. People doubt you because they doubt themselves. Nothing better than proving you’re stronger than people believe you (and themselves) to be.

  9. If Brady wins his 8th SB he can start a TV show called ‘8 is Enough’ and Octomom can be a surprise guest along with an octopus and Spiderman.

  10. No question that he’s had a difficult life. I don’t know where he finds the strength to carry on.

  11. He’s right. There are nitwits who still for whatever reason doubt the guys achievements and ability even now, and he’s undeniably the greatest player in the history of the NFL.

    You can’t help some people I guess, but it’s most likely due to their insecurity about their own quarterback.

  12. Someday, Father Time will catch up with Tom – it’s going to be hard on him when it does. He’ll be in a puddle of tears when he has to stand there and say he can’t do it anymore.

  13. I totally doubt him…no way he’s going to win [s]1[/s] [s]2[/s] [s]3[/s] [s]4[/s] [s]5[/s] [s]6[/s] [s]7[/s] [b]8[/b] super bowls…

  14. I totally doubt him…no way he’s going to win 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 super bowls…

  15. “After seven Super Bowl rings, Tom Brady doesn’t have many doubters left. But he finds motivation in believing he’s been doubted.”

    I don’t think he has doubters, just a lot of haters. Like people that continue to say he isn’t elite anymore, even though, just last season he was tied for 2nd in TD passes, and 3rd in yards. So, not doubters, just haters.

  16. Regular Season Records Brady Likely Will Break in 2021:

    – Games Played (Non-Kicker). Brady needs 3 games to pass Jerry Rice and reach 304 games played (Brady already has the record for games started).
    – Oldest QB to Start and Win a Game. First win of the 2021 season. The current record is held by Vinnie Testaverde (12/02/07, 44 years, 19 days). Brady will be 44 years 40 days old on the first Sunday of the 2021 season.
    – Most completions (career). Brady needs 365 completions to reach 7143 and pass Drew Brees. Brady normally throws 350-400 completions during a typical NFL (16 game) regular season.
    – Passing yards. Brady needs 1,155 yards to pass Drew Brees, who is at 80,358.
    – Brady also likely will break Favre’s record for sacks taken. However, at 1.74 sacks per games started, he’s actually fourth lowest for HOF and gonna be HOF QBs.

  17. I don’t care how many rings the guy has. His accomplishments speak for themselves, and he gets full credit for all of it, but as a spectator, he bores me to tears. I don’t get it. Ho-hum.

  18. Don’t mind a bit of baloney but after last year are there any folks who doubt Tom Brady’s football abilities?

  19. He could always just look at the comments section of PFT articles about him to find doubters/haters. In my view, it’s really reaching to try to downplay what he’s accomplished at this point, but you still have people grasping at straws.

  20. Brady, you should retire. You can never win another Super Bowl in Tampa Bay. Actually, there’s NO way that you can win two more here so not sure why you extended your contract 2 years. Just give it up already.

  21. touchback6 says:
    April 7, 2021 at 8:43 am
    my god, go away

    why bb walked – he wants it all about him

    Remember when you said he wouldn’t win in Tampa ?

    Remember when you said Stidham would be the starter?

  22. Everybody is different.

    He is simply giving you his mindset that drives him. This is how he motivates himself. Certainly has proven it works for him.

    Whatever floats your boat.

  23. Tampa’s recent Super Bowl win had a lot more to do with the defense than Tom Brady.

    Change my mind.

  24. The haters will always remain, even if they secretly don’t doubt Brady. I can pretty much guarantee you that Shannon Sharpe, Nick Wright and Tony Parker, at the very least, will go right back to slamming Brady in 2021, despite being shown up big time in 2020.

    The longer Brady plays, the more impressed I am by him. What so many people fail to fully appreciate is his nonstop motivation, his drive and his ability to inspire others to join together to believe in themselves and pursue excellence. It’s true that Brady went to a team that was already loaded on offense and defense. The reason he was the spark that led them to the Super Bowl is due in part to his QB intelligence, but even more so to his abilities as a leader. I admire his maintaining his passionate commitment to football year after year. If part of his motivation is the doubters over the years, then OK, whatever works for him.

  25. I don’t think he has doubters, just a lot of haters.


    Three reasons he has so many doubters and haters:

    #1, he didn’t pass eye test, meaning, very few can tell what he does better than other great QB, his signature plays were never brought up.
    #2, he made other great QB look bad, like Peyton (being called choker when Brady won his first 3 SB), which angered lot of their fans.
    #3, he made his doubter and haters look bad.

    On #1, it is understandable because even Belichick doesn’t know what makes Brady special.

  26. Some of us recognized his greatness by 2004. That it took the rest of the country another 15 years to figure it out is perhaps the clearest example of why teams like the Jets and Colts are the way they are, and how they somehow still have fans.

  27. Time for Little Tommy to become Big Tommy and grow up. I am tired of his act and the refs favoring him and his team. How many other QBs have refs helping him up after he gets sacked….no big deal right….wrong it shows the favoritism he gets. He has had a great run been outstanding but it’s time for some new blood.

  28. The Red Sox will always be my #1, and Patriots/Bruins are #1A/#1B. But Tommy is my idol.

    When I did an interview, I was asked who I model myself after. (I live in Chicago where my wife is from). I said Brady. Everyone laughed thinking that because of my accent it was the Massachusetts fan in me. No, it was the drive. Being told you can’t do this or that, you lack everything prototypical and really, aren’t what people want. you can sit down and say what you should or you shouldn’t be, but you WILL NEVER tell warriors and champions what it takes. They have what you can’t see.

  29. I’m sorry but what a wuss. Winning a ring (as part of a team, mind you) doesn’t give you character or strength. Just means you work for a great organization. These comments are the same to me as when a player says “I feel disrespected.” Get over it Brady. Last time I checked the true greats didn’t act like this. Character matters (to me).

  30. Kind of sad that a 43 year old man is still motivated by a few naysayers after all his accomplishments…I’ve never seen a more insecure player in NFL history.

  31. Nobody has doubted this guy for a long time. People are saying now that he’s going to play until he’s 50

  32. It is kinda easy to play like Brady has done when he doesn’t respect the game or its rules. One day he’ll be dragged from the field after folding like a house of cards. There are true professionals who have respected the rules. Brady is not one of them.

  33. Betcha you can’t pass for 100,000 yards Brady, trentdilfer08 says.

    Well, Trent, if you count playoff yards — and why wouldn’t you? — Brady has 91,653 yards, leaving him 8,347 yards shy of 100,000. With the extra regular season game and the likelihood of one, two or three playoff games, it should take Brady two seasons to get to the 100,000 mark.

    A couple of other unimaginable milestones that Brady is likely to reach: He needs 36 touchdown passes to reach 700, regular season and playoffs combined; and, he needs 36 wins to reach 300, the equivalent of 20 15-win seasons. Truly remarkable.

  34. the Patriots dumbed down the system for Brady and they basically played Ravens football, which made Brady a bonafide game manager.


    — 2002, threw 600+ times.
    — 2003, 2005, 2006, threw 500+ times.
    — and top 10 offense, without a top tier WR, without a good running back, sometime even with below average defense.

    Game manager doesn’t do that.

  35. Guys like this are few and far between. Bird, Jordan, Rice and Brady are winners because of their inner drive to be the best, they do the work no one else wants to.

  36. I guess we should thank all the dimwitted Patriot fans who said it was Belichick. Otherwise, Tom may not have been spurred on to such greatness.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.