Tom Brady; The Greatest Quarterback to Ever Live

Ryan Plausky

December 5, 2018

Journalism 2

Tom Brady; The Greatest Quarterback to Ever Live

When Tom Brady was born in San Mateo, California On August 3, 1977 it is said that he was born to be one of the greatest American football players to live. Truly one of the underdogs in NFL history, Brady’s passion for football all started when he was just a little boy when he regularly attended San Francisco 49er football games to watch his favorite player Joe Montana. Spending all of his teenage life in San Mateo, when high school age came, Brady attended San Mateo High School and started off as a backup quarterback for the varsity team. Always having a positive mindset and persisting an enormous amount of patience, just like his NFL career, it was not until the starting quarterback of his high school team got injured when finally it was his turn to shine. From there, Brady was never viewed as a very talented athlete but was consistent and smart enough to play college football. After graduating in 1995, Brady’s recruiting process took off when he made a highlight tape and sent it to all of the colleges that he was considering going too. After visiting and talking to many different coaches, Brady finally made the decision to play for the University of Michigan where he would be listed off as the 7th quarterback on the depth chart and a whole lot of time on the bench. It was an intense struggle for Brady to receive playing time on the field for his first two years where he did move up in the ranks but always remained a backup. Too cope with all of the frustration and anxiety of not being a starter and all of the hard work that Brady put in, it is said that he hired a sports psychologist to boost his confidence where they met once a week. Ultimately, in multiple interviews Brady admits that this was a crucial part of his career and that without this process/regular therapy sessions, he would not be where he is now. During Brady’s next two years in Michigan, there was a constant battle for the starting quarterback position where Brady would start one half, and then the backup would finish the rest of the game. It was not until his senior year where he earned the full time quarterback position in Michigan. With this playing time Brady did not disappoint, setting the record for most pass attempts and completions in a season for his school. In the two seasons that Brady started at Michigan, he posted a 20–5 record, including his two largest victories at the Citrus Bowl (1999) and the Orange Bowl (2000). Brady finished his career ranking third in Michigan history with 710 attempts and 442 completions, fourth with 5,351 yards and 62.3 completion percentage, and fifth with 35 touchdown passes.

In an attempt to enter the NFL, Brady did what any other college football quarterback did and went to the NFL Combine to try and set a good first impression. Upon arrival, Brady was listed as 6-foot-5, 195 pounds with no muscle definition and just did not stand out amongst the other athletes in his draft class. Although in the scouting reports it was said that he was very careful with his passes, very accurate, no interceptions; NFL scouts wondered whether or not his arm would be strong enough to make professional type throws. Not standing out in any type of way, every NFL team generally overlooked Brady which is why he was drafted 199th overall pick of the 2000 NFL draft to the New England Patriots. With no big future really planned for Brady little did he know that when he joined the Patriots, he would set an NFL record for the longest time playing quarterback for one franchise.

After being drafted 199th overall by the New England Patriots solemnly to fill the role as a backup quarterback for a very talented Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady yet again had the reputation of being an underdog. The name Tom Brady was not a name that NFL coaches feared or even heard about, nobody knew who he was. After a rookie season with barely any playing time, Tom Brady’s career completely changed when Bledsoe went down with an injury shortly into his 2nd season. In 2001, Brady successfully filled Bledsoe’s shoes and led the Patriots to the superbowl and won MVP despite all the doubters. From that moment on, Brady found not only a place in Belichick’s heart but a leadership role in the Patriots organization where he would now be the starting quarterback. Despite not making the playoffs the following year, Brady’s success led the Patriots to back to back championships in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. With Tom Brady’s success coming out of nowhere, he would yet again win MVP in 2003 proving to everyone that he is actually pretty good. From then on Brady would continue to lead the Patriots to a playoff appearance almost every year and break numerous records. In 2005, Brady threw his first 4000 yard season and went on to win his 10th consecutive playoff game which would set an NFL postseason record.

Although Brady and the Patriots continued to win often, they did not return to the Super Bowl until the 2007 season. That year, Brady not only set an NFL record with 50 touchdown passes but he would also lead the Patriots to a 16–0 finish, the first perfect regular-season record since the Miami Dolphins finished 14-0 in 1972. Brady would win his first career NFL MVP Award, winning 49 out of 50 votes. The Associated Press also named him Male Athlete of the Year, the first such award given to an NFL player since Joe Montana won it in 1989 and 1990. However, one downside of the incredible season was that the Patriots suffered their first Super Bowl loss with Brady as quarterback, dropping a 17-14 decision to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

After coming off a legendary season, in the season opener the following year, Brady would go down with a knee injury. Even so, Tom Brady yet again proving everyone wrong would come back and win the league Comeback Player of the Year. Tom Brady and the Patriots did not know what losing was with Brady proceeding to set the NFL record for consecutive passes without an interception (358). In this same season he would yet again win the league MVP making him and Joe Montana  the only players in NFL history to win multiple NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards. With Brady at quarterback the Patriots would continue to have successful winning seasons every year and win the superbowl in the 2014 and 2016 seasons. In both of these Super Bowl victories, Tom Brady once again was named Super Bowl MVP.

Over Tom Brady’s career he has since racked up three league MVP awards, five Super Bowls, and four Super Bowl MVP Awards. A 13-time Pro Bowler, Brady has also twice led the NFL in passing yardage. As of December 2018, he currently owns the third-highest career passer rating (97.9) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts. He has thrown for more passing yards and touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL postseason history; he also has won more playoff games than any other quarterback. As a result of his highly successful career, Brady is rated among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Despite coming from nowhere but doubt, Tom Brady has proven the haters wrong.