With his move to the Buccaneers, Tom Brady declares war on his ex-New England Patriots. The star quarterback is aiming for the Super Bowl in his own stadium. In Tampa Bay, people sometimes resort to questionable methods in order to implement their winning mentality.
Nine appearances in the Super Bowl, six title wins, four awards for most valuable player (MVP), 14 appearances in the Pro Bowl and the reputation as “GOAT”, the “Greatest Of All Time” – what Tom Brady in 20 years with the New England Patriots has achieved, no other quarterback will be able to imitate him so quickly. In the spring, the champion could have given up the title after his contract expired as an eternally revered superstar. His announcement to give up his historic series of successes under head coach Bill Belichick in order to sign a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemed all the more incomprehensible. The Florida underdogs have not played a serious role in the US football professional league NFL since their last entry into the playoffs in 2007.
On the tenth day of the regular season, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that Brady’s jump to the Bucs was strategically very clever – and not just because of the easy money. Because more wealth is really nothing that drives Brady obsessively to top performance every day. No, Brady is about something completely different: “He wants to win. Always”, describes his ex-Patriots colleague Sebastian Vollmer the 43-year-old. “Nobody hates losing like Tom does.” This subordinates “really everything” to success.
The fact that Brady threw an interception in his very last pass for the Patriots in the wild card game and thus sealed the defeat against the Miami Dolphins was an extremely unworthy exit for someone like him. With his move to the underdog, the 43-year-old now wants to settle a discussion once and for all that has been going on since the former Belichick / Brady dream team celebrated their first major successes. Is Brady Really the Best Ever? Or was he a Belichick-dependent “system quarterback” who only works as a team? With this reason, his Super Bowl victories are sometimes belittled him.
Brady’s departure was “inevitable”
In order to be able to measure Brady’s and Belichick’s performance, Brady’s departure was “inevitable,” said Vollmer last in his podcast “Vollmer and Kuhn”. You just have to compare the two. And as long as Brady played better than the Patriots for the next two years, he could always say that the success of the franchise was always up to him. But that will not be enough for the 43-year-old. Brady can easily make it into the playoffs. With his winning mentality, the goal has to be the Super Bowl. A lot has been done in Tampa to make it happen this season.
Head coach Bruce Arians has built a strong receiver team around Brady and even brought ex-Patriots star Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. The tight end is considered to be one of the best players in NHL history. But that’s not all: Antonio Brown (“AB”) has also been part of the Buccaneers for the rest of the season since last Sunday. Despite his disappointing comeback against the Saints after a lengthy ban, the 32-year-old is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league and makes Tampa the most promising receiving corps in the NFL, at least on paper. With the best defense of the preseason, Tampa now has all of its options.
But Brown’s commitment also comes with risks. The scandal player has only been talking about negative headlines for some time. He is charged with dozens of offenses – including burglary, assault, rape, sexual abuse and intimidation of an alleged victim. Compared to his ex-girlfriend and mother of three of his children, “AB” is also said to have been violent. Various disputes with former teammates as well as head coaches and failures have also led to the 32-year-old being thrown out several times. Due to its abnormal behavior, it is suspected that the wide receiver could suffer from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Brady vouches for the bugbear Brown
Brown’s once impeccable reputation is now nearly destroyed. His commitment has led to massive criticism from both fans and sports journalists. Brady, on the other hand, has remained loyal to “AB” since they became friends with the Patriots in his short time. They played a successful game together before investigating Brown’s abuse.
According to the US broadcaster “CBS”, Brady is said not only to have campaigned with the Bucs for a commitment from Brown, but also to have assured that Brown would behave. He apparently takes care of this himself by letting the wide receiver live in his own four walls. In other words, Antonio Brown’s success rests on Tom Brady’s shoulders. And with it the success of the entire team. Whether or not “AB” is a rapist has not yet been established. It is questionable that Brady lets the alleged sex offender live in the apartment building in which he lives at least sporadically with his wife Gisele Bündchen and their children.
In addition, the question inevitably arises: does the quarterback have blind faith in his friend? Or does he only use his new roommate for his own purposes and approve of the many allegations of abuse against him? Brady should not have gone fast enough to have Brown by his side. His contract was signed before his NFL suspension even expired. Brady’s silence on the allegations speaks volumes.
Hardly any carrot, a lot of stick
In March, Bruce Arians had spoken out on a radio show against a commitment by Brown. “It won’t happen,” he said, calling Brown a “diva”. “I know him and he doesn’t fit in our locker room.” Arians and Brown have had a strained relationship since their time together with the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a former offensive coordinator with the Steelers, Arians is said to have initially been against Brown’s commitment and has always criticized his performance and behavior. Brown resents him to this day.
The fact that “AB” ended up with the Bucs in spite of everything suggests that Brady has something big in mind with him. This will to win seems to have even brought the head coach to a concession to lean far out of the window with “AB” for success. It could happen that the NFL bans the bugbear again because of a new civil investigation. And Brady mostly gets what he wants. He worked hard for this privilege. But it also says a lot about his character: he wants nothing more than to win the Super Bowl and show it to the Patriots, Bill Belichick and the critics.
With the Buccaneers, Brady is now experiencing a completely new, more relaxed gaming experience. The offensively thinking coach Arians is a buddy who relies on friendly communication with his players. This is also reflected in Brady’s temperament: The family man seems much more relaxed and recently surprised more and more people with his new, open-minded manner in interviews such as radio legend Howard Stern. This would have been unthinkable with the Patriots. He is said to have been falling out with Bill Belichick for some time and not feeling appreciated. The coach prefers to treat his players with a stick rather than a carrot. They should seldom hear praise, but often have to fear for their job.
The Super Bowl taking place at Tampa Bay Stadium in February is possibly Brady’s biggest incentive. Because if he and his men make it this far and win the title, they would be the first team in NFL history to win the coveted Lombardi trophy in their own stadium. That would be the exclamation point behind his career.