Tom Brady: At this point, it’s about proving it to myself

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Few pro athletes have gotten more external motivation from actual or perceived slights than Tom Brady. As he closes in on his 44th birthday, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady claims that he’s no longer trying to prove himself to others, and that he continues to play in order to prove to himself that he can.

“It’s hard to walk away from something that you still feel like you can do and you wanna do,” Brady told James Corden of The Late Late Show. “So it’s not about proving it to others what you can do, it’s more about proving it to yourself. And I still feel like even though I’ll be 44 this year, I still have a chance to prove it to myself that I can still do it at 44, because I really worked to a point where I can still do it at this age.”

He can say that, but no one has to believe it. At some level, Brady continues to be driven by the fact that (if you haven’t heard) he was a sixth-round pick in 2000, the 199th player selected and the seventh quarterback.

He’s also surely driven at some level by his legacy, even though he’s already regarded by many as the greatest quarterback of all time if not the greatest player at any position. He claimed with a straight face, however, that he never thinks about being the best ever.

“Really?” Corden said. “You never sit and think, at what I do, I’m the best?”

“It’s like saying what do you like better, steak, fish, chicken?” Brady said.

Corden pounced on the right answer: “Steak.”

Brady knows he needs to project a certain degree of humility. But I don’t care what he says — he’s STILL driven by what others think of him, and he surely knows he’s the greatest overall quarterback of all time. There have been better passers and better runners and quarterbacks who do both better. But no one has done what matters most more than him, and there’s a very good chance no one ever will. And he definitely knows it, and if he doesn’t allow himself to savor that in rare, fleeting moments, then maybe he really is some sort of cyborg.

37 responses to “Tom Brady: At this point, it’s about proving it to myself

  1. You know what’s crazy about the 2000 draft. 3 quarterbacks made a name for themselves. 2 of them were drafted in the 6th round. Tom Brady and Marc Bulger. Experts hahahaha

  2. While the use of slights is motivating the sixth round slight story was never a solid storyline. Where did he think he should go, forth round? Or, did he believe his promise to be the hardest working, most committed to his trade quarterback of all time vault him into the first round? Or, maybe I am tired of the story because he has been so freakin good for so long.

  3. Totally disagree that he’s still motivated by external factors. At one point, sure. But when you know you are the best ever and everyone says that, I really don’t think he cares about where he was drafted over 20 years ago. Heck probably a third of the people that passed on him are dead. I take him at his word.

  4. Media should be asking him about winning another Super Bowl with all of the starters from last year coming back, not retirement. He can reflect on being the GOAT once he retires, let him focus on playing more and winning more while he still can.

  5. It’s hard to know fully our internal motivations, let alone know other’s motivations externally. Perhaps, we apply our own philosophies to others, as if knowingly, to try and comprehend.

    There will be time for reflection after his career is over and many words to spill in ink to get as close to understanding as possible. Can we not just appreciate that he wants to go out there and compete at a level no one his age (and at his position) has ever done before?

  6. Hopefully one day Brady will be able to be satisfied with what he’s accomplished. At a certain point, highly successful people, who can’t recognize what they’ve accomplished, have some kind of issue they haven’t worked through.

  7. He sure proved he didn’t need Belicheat!

    ____

    No, he only needed a stacked team

  8. Brady is an introvert and even he said it himself that the football field allows him to be who he is and to express it to the fullest extent. It just turned out that he is the best winner the game has ever seen.

  9. Why what does he have to prove ? To anyone ?

    I am just enjoying watching him while he’s still playing

  10. Every Buc fan here in the Tampa Bay area is expecting a repeat of last year! Tom can do it and the team can do it! GO BUCS!

  11. The narrative that there have been better passers really needs to die. Statistically, he’s the greatest passer of all-time when you consider his consistent success in changing statistical environments since he joined the league (he led the NFL in TDs with just 28 in his second year as a starter, throwing for 4000 yards was a huge accomplishment his first five years in the league before the rule changes Goodell introduced). He throws a better ball than Manning ever did. He’s better at reading and diagnosing a defense pre-snap and getting his offense in the right play than pretty much anyone in history (and so does not need to rely on improvisation and athleticism to the extent that a guy like Mahomes currently does). When it comes down to it, if you think he’s not the most lethal, consistent, clutch pocket passer in league history, you are basing it on subjective, not objective criteria. No one has a meaningfully better case as far as the stats are concerned. We should feel lucky to still be watching a master at his craft perform at a high level. It can and probably will end quickly. Few get to the level he’s at, and it’s unlikely anyone else will have more success than he’s had. With the NFL going to a 17 game and likely an 18 game schedule in the future, along with all the rule changes favoring passing, all the stats will likely be surpassed some day. But his 7 championships and .750 winning percentage over two decades probably will never be matched. The fact that he’s now won with two different franchises in two different conferences is the cherry on top from a legacy standpoint.

  12. He’s motivated by the next ring Wants as many as he can get before he retires 2-3 more seasons….Think this season 50 TDs 5500 yards; same arm; same eyesight; healthy; knows the playbook now….same deep ball and best deep ball receivers in years; great Oline And…….how about that defense?

  13. Brady not only wants to be the best of all time, which he is, but also the best for all time. We can’t know what the future holds, but over these last years of his unparalleled career, he will make it more difficult for anyone to surpass him. Ever. We are fortunate to be witnesses to this. We should enjoy it all the more while we still can.

  14. He should try proving it to himself with a substandard defense. He’s great, not doubt about it. It’s also a slight to all of the defensive teams on all of those championship teams in my opinion. Tampa’s defense had a tremendous amount to do with their Superbowl win last season.

  15. He should try proving it to himself with a substandard defense. He’s great, not doubt about it. It’s also a slight to all of the defensive teams on all of those championship teams in my opinion. Tampa’s defense had a tremendous amount to do with their Superbowl win last season.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is a lazy take. It always takes balances on both sides of the ball to win the SB. The main reason the Chiefs lost last year is because their defense (and o-line) were subpar. As good as Mahomes is, he can’t do is all by himself. Brady can’t either. QBs always get the most credit (as well as the most blame) because its the most important single position on the field by a country mile.

  16. He said at this point. Wow the chip on Tommy Boy’s shoulder has disappeared. He seems satisfied something I didn’t see from him ever with the Patriots. He is at the end. Whether it’s this season or next something tells me he will retire.

  17. Our defense is great. But they don’t throw touchdowns. Brady threw 40 TDs and 4600 yards against the OTHER defenses in the league. And he scored 3 TDs on the ground. Don’t think we’re in the Superbowl without Brady and the offense last year

  18. bossman1014 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 12:30 pm
    Our defense is great. But they don’t throw touchdowns. Brady threw 40 TDs and 4600 yards against the OTHER defenses in the league. And he scored 3 TDs on the ground. Don’t think we’re in the Superbowl without Brady and the offense last year

    ———–

    It’s complementary football. Defense creates turnovers and gives the offense short field. Tampa defense did that very well during the playoffs. Tampa defense got turnovers against Taylor Heinicke, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes.

  19. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 8:51 am
    He sure proved he didn’t need Belicheat!

    ____

    No, he only needed a stacked team

    Jameis Winston didn’t do to well with that stacked roster. Yes ai know they added some talent. But the base of that team has been there.

  20. I understand why Brady is still driven by the chip on his shoulder. Even now, after winning 7 Super Bowls there are people who think Rodgers is the greatest, or Mahomes is better, or that Brady only wins because of the stacked team (here’s looking at all the posters above), or that he only won in NE because of Belichick.

    And let’s not forget that if Goodell hadn’t gone after Brady with the deflategate BS, Brady might have retired with only 3 SB including 2 losses to Eli.

    So yes, the chip is powerful for Brady. He’s appeared in 5 SBs & won 4 SBs since Deflate Gate. Should have won 3 in a row if Belichick’s defense (& his beef with Malcolm Butler) hadn’t given up 41 points to Nick Foles.

  21. He’s clearly the GOAT at ANY position and as a Michigan alum I’m proud as hell he came from my school. It’s too bad we live in a world with so many haters these days. Instead of enjoying watching the greatest football player of all time, their jealousy makes them too bitter to accept what the rest of us are enjoying. Tom Brady is a terrific role model and a great father, son, and, well…. Not sure he’s a Holy Ghost yet, but he plays like one!

  22. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 8:51 am
    He sure proved he didn’t need Belicheat!

    ____

    No, he only needed a stacked team

    ——-

    The same “stacked team” that hadn’t sniffed the playoffs in 15 years

  23. Brady should be happy about his chip. Getting drafted 199th was the best thing that ever happened to him. No way he wins 3 early SBs unless he goes to NE and Drew gets hurt and so on.

  24. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 8:51 am
    He sure proved he didn’t need Belicheat!

    ____

    No, he only needed a stacked team

    ——————-

    The Bucs only had one player make the Pro Bowl last season (Jason Pierre-Paul). Educate yourself before embarrassing yourself on message boards making ridiculous comments.

  25. The Bucs only had one player make the Pro Bowl last season (Jason Pierre-Paul). Educate yourself before embarrassing yourself on message boards making ridiculous comments.

    ____

    he went to the Bucs because they were loaded with talent, he hand picked them. He wasnt going to go to some dog team that didnt have a chance.
    You’re really going to argue these guys arent excellent players?
    Mike Evans
    Fournette’
    Godwin
    Gronk
    Vita Vea
    DEvon White
    Lavonte David
    Pierre Paul
    Shaq Barrett
    Antonio Brown
    Gholston Winfield
    Suh

    They all stink, right? Youre the one who should be embarrassed

  26. The same “stacked team” that hadn’t sniffed the playoffs in 15 years

    _____

    In 2019 Winston had 30 interceptions AND 12 fumbles. He personally cost the team 4 games. They still won 7 games and scored 458 points, which was the same as the 2019 13-3 Saints did.

    Who cares about 15 years ago, or even 5 years ago, thats not the team Brady joined. He joined the team loaded with talent from 2019. Because he looked at the roster and saw it was talented.

  27. Jameis Winston didn’t do to well with that stacked roster. Yes ai know they added some talent. But the base of that team has been there.

    ____

    Thats because Winston stinks. 30 ints and 12 fumbles in 2019 alone. Thats almost 3 turnovers a game from one guy. Good luck winning when you have that happen.

  28. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 3:25 pm
    The same “stacked team” that hadn’t sniffed the playoffs in 15 years

    _____

    In 2019 Winston had 30 interceptions AND 12 fumbles. He personally cost the team 4 games. They still won 7 games and scored 458 points, which was the same as the 2019 13-3 Saints did.

    Who cares about 15 years ago, or even 5 years ago, thats not the team Brady joined. He joined the team loaded with talent from 2019. Because he looked at the roster and saw it was talented.

    Yes he picked them the problem is this is the same “stacked team” when he signed and all the comments were …

    “He’s a system qB”
    “He can win without BB”
    “ he can’t throw deep”
    “They won’t make the playoffs “
    “He’s to iPod”
    “QB in BA system don’t do well there first year”

    Then they signed Lenny and it was “ he’s old and washed up”
    Them AB “he won’t be on the team in 3 weeks “ , we will ruin the locker room”.

    Excuse after excuse.

    Then they win it all and the Brady crybabies do what they do, move the goal post.

    Oh well uh it was a “stacked team”
    It’s the same team it was last March and no one was saying that then just more “it will be like Mays going to the Mets”.

    Basically WRONG about EVERYTHING
    Now it’s “oh uh well der it’s a stacked team”

  29. blessedunliketherest says:
    June 24, 2021 at 12:04 pm
    He should try proving it to himself with a substandard defense. He’s great, not doubt about it. It’s also a slight to all of the defensive teams on all of those championship teams in my opinion. Tampa’s defense had a tremendous amount to do with their Superbowl win last season.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is a lazy take. It always takes balances on both sides of the ball to win the SB. The main reason the Chiefs lost last year is because their defense (and o-line) were subpar. As good as Mahomes is, he can’t do is all by himself. Brady can’t either. QBs always get the most credit (as well as the most blame) because its the most important single position on the field by a country mile.
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    I don’t think you understood the context of the message. He already solidified himself as the best to ever play. He’s done it with 2 teams. He is almost out of fingers for his rings. The only possible thing left to prove is that he CAN carry a team to a championship. He’s done everything else. Think about if he did accomplish that; what could ever be said at that point by a critic?

  30. Yes he picked them the problem is this is the same “stacked team” when he signed and all the comments were …

    “He’s a system qB”
    “He can win without BB”
    “ he can’t throw deep”
    “They won’t make the playoffs “
    “He’s to iPod”
    “QB in BA system don’t do well there first year”

    ____

    I never said any of those negative Brady comments. I’m a Brady fan. What I am saying though is that the Bucs are loaded with talent and have been.

    Do people really think Brady is so stupid that he would pick a team LACKING in talent? That he wanted to start from the bottom? No.

    He chose the Buccaneers because he saw the talent base was excellent and he still wants to win. Saying anything else is foolish.

  31. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 3:25 pm
    The same “stacked team” that hadn’t sniffed the playoffs in 15 years

    _____

    In 2019 Winston had 30 interceptions AND 12 fumbles. He personally cost the team 4 games. They still won 7 games and scored 458 points, which was the same as the 2019 13-3 Saints did.

    Who cares about 15 years ago, or even 5 years ago, thats not the team Brady joined. He joined the team loaded with talent from 2019. Because he looked at the roster and saw it was talented.

    Yes he picked them the problem is this is the same “stacked team” when he signed and all the comments were …

    “He’s a system qB”
    “He can win without BB”
    “ he can’t throw deep”
    “They won’t make the playoffs “
    “He’s to iPod”
    “QB in BA system don’t do well there first year”

    Then they signed Lenny and it was “ he’s old and washed up”
    Them AB “he won’t be on the team in 3 weeks “ , we will ruin the locker room”.

    Excuse after excuse.

    Then they win it all and the Brady crybabies do what they do, move the goal post.

    Oh well uh it was a “stacked team”
    It’s the same team it was last March and no one was saying that then just more “it will be like Mays going to the Mets”.

    Basically WRONG about EVERYTHING
    Now it’s “oh uh well der it’s a stacked team”

    ________________________________

    How about, he’s a convicted cheater?

  32. cancerman2020 says:
    June 24, 2021 at 8:51 am
    He sure proved he didn’t need Belicheat!
    ____

    No, he only needed a stacked team

    Indeed. Tampa was a combined 17-31 the previous three seasons. Stacked.

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