The soon-to-be 43-year-old quarterback reflected on his 20 years in New England and the experiences he had with the team he quarterbacked for two decades. Most importantly, he spoke about the challenges and excitement that he has starting his new journey with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a change, a challenge, an opportunity to lead and collaborate, and also to be seen and heard. And I know my time there will be as amazing in its own way as what came before.”
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This is genuine Brady. He has been able to maintain his stellar play and keep himself motivated because he is constantly challenging himself and the others around him. His unwavering dedication to the craft has resulted in six Super Bowl championships and countless other awards and accolades. This includes his second selection to the NFL’s All-Decade team. A unanimous selection at that.
“For me, playing football isn’t going to last another 10 years. In the time left, the question is, How can I keep maximizing what I do, put everything I can into it, make it the best I possibly can? At this point in my career, the only person I have to prove anything to is myself. Physically, I’m as capable of doing my job as I’ve ever been. Now I want to see what more I can do. I want to see how great I can be.”
Unlike other athletes that have approached his age, Brady says he is as physically fit and healthy as he has ever been. For some, that will come as no surprise as they have watched him play, not through a box score, but with their eyes. For others, it will come as a shock and perhaps it will be a rude awakening for those who have doubted his abilities.
General manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians see it. Evident by the contract they agreed to. Buccaneers fans and players will learn this in short order if they haven’t already. For 20 years, Brady brought a calming presence on the field and in the community throughout New England. He will do the same in Tampa.
“They’ve welcomed me as one of their own. They want to listen to what I have to say. I’m excited to be embraced fully for what I can bring to the Bucs. In turn, I’m ready to embrace fully a team that is confident in what I do — and what I bring — and is willing to go on this ride with me.”
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His motivation and drive extend beyond just himself. He wants to make his teammates better around him. Something he has excelled at for 20 years. It’s no coincidence that nary a bad word has been said about Brady from former teammates. It’s because he genuinely cares about every single member of the organization.
“Along with the opportunity to win championships, the support of older teammates is an amazing part of playing for a team. Doing whatever I can to help younger players evolve as people and players matter a lot to me. I’ve learned so much during my 20 years in New England — and I want to bring those things to a new team.”
Buccaneers players, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball should be excited. The coaches and front office should be excited. The fans and the community should be excited. Most importantly, Brady himself is excited… and motivated.
“Still, I’m excited. Most of all, I’m motivated. I want to deliver for my new team, my new coaches and my new teammates. I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
That should scare teams across the league.