So far in his career, his age hasn’t been a problem, will it become one?
If you look at his face and into his eyes, you can see some of the prior 20 seasons he has spent in this league. Still looking good for his age (that’s not usually a statement made of a current NFL player), you cannot deny that he’s more gentlemanly looking in 2020 than he was, say even 6 seasons ago. The thing is, when he puts that helmet on, his age is lost in the uniform, and so far, he has not shown much decline at all in his game. The 2019 season with the Patriots was considered a down year. Yet they won the AFC East for the 11th straight season, finishing the regular season 12-4. We’re getting a quarterback, who led his team to a record of 12-4, in a down year. Yet fans question the move to bring him here. To put that into perspective: In their history, the Buccaneers have only achieved that record once in 44 years, and that’s a hard pill to swallow if you ask me.
From Belichick to Bruce, change awaited
In his first press conference since March, by way of Zoom, last week, he had this to say about his age and his 21st NFL season, his first without Belichick, and first under Bruce Arians.
“Ultimately, my goal is to go out there and do what I’ve always done, which is to be the best I could possibly be for the team,” Going on, he added. “It’s given me a great opportunity to be at this age, still playing the sport that I love because mentally I still feel like I have all the ability, I’ve seen every defense, there’s no play I haven’t run, there’s no defense I haven’t seen. It’s just physically, are you still able to execute your job? I’m very fortunate to still be able to do that.”
Playbooks and change
Tom Brady has already admitted that learning a whole new offensive system and playbook has been a challenge, that he had forgotten how tough it was taking in a whole new system. Tom goes on and talks about changing teams and what he expects from himself here on.
“Obviously for me, changing teams after a long period of time has given me an opportunity to really look at myself and what I want to continue to achieve in my career and think that I can bring to a team,” Brady on learning a new system, “I mean, I really haven’t had to do that in 19 years, so you forget, ‘Man, that’s really tough’ – like all of the different terminologies,” said Brady. “You’re trying to learn a bunch of different things, and you’re trying to not only learn an offense but learn your way to work or learn guys’ names. I didn’t even know where the quarterbacks’ room was or where the full team meeting room was. You get in here, and your brain is trying to figure out a lot of different things.”
For athletes like Foreman and Howe, their 40s were business as usual
So there you go, evidence that even though he’s the G.O.A.T., like players with half of his talent, he too struggles somewhat when learning an entirely new system, especially when he hasn’t had to do that for many years. You hear it quite a bit on Bucs Social Media from fans who say he’s too old and that he’s lost it. My take on fans who say that is that they are only saying that because that usually is the case with an over 40-year-old quarterback. They discount the fact that Brady has taken very good care of himself. The way he eats, the way he trains, and even his bedtime is geared toward playing the hardest position in professional sports. Every once in a great while you get a person playing their sport that for whatever reasons are just able to still play at a fairly high level, even though they are more advanced in age. George Foreman winning back the World Heavyweight Title at 45 years of age, 20 years after Ali, by knocking out a strong Michael Moorer in the tenth round.
We all know what he was able to do with an, in my opinion, less talented Patriots team last season. There is no reason to think he can’t do at least that well with the Bucs. I will say this, “Our schedule is a lot tougher than the Patriots just from the strength of the NFC South VS the AFC East.” Let’s all cross our fingers and hope this season is able to be played and finished with Brady in another Super-Bowl, but this time in Black, Red, and Pewter. Go Bucs!!