Six Super Bowl championships, four Super Bowl MVPs, three NFL MVP awards, 14 Pro Bowls, 19 seasons in the league and a near-undeniable claim to GOAT status still aren’t enough for Tom Brady.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback wrote an essay for The Players’ Tribune in which he talked about what motivates him as a player, and why that passion ultimately led him to leave the Patriots — the only team he’s ever played for — and join the Buccaneers.
A lot of veteran players were mentors to me during my years as a Patriot. They were there for me when I signed a second contract. They were there for Super Bowl wins, and when I got married. They saw me develop, and grow, and eventually start a family. 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 matters 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. Right now, though, I have things to prove to myself.
It sounds like the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the Bucs’ talented young core, for one of the league’s least successful franchises, was something that enticed Brady into choosing Tampa Bay. Brady continued:
As I said before, playing for one team for 20 years has been an amazing ride and experience. But doing the same thing year after year brings its own challenges. A familiar rhythm can be comforting and great. But it can also make you lose sight of other rhythms, newer ones that remind you of everything that hasn’t been done yet.
For years, football pundits have tried to dissect the Patriots’ success, pinning it down to one of two factors: Brady’s greatness or Bill Belichick’s brilliance. Had Brady stuck things out and finished his career in Foxborough, there would likely be many who claim he was merely a product of Belichick’s system. Now, Brady has a chance to prove himself in Tampa, alongside a good core of offensive players and underneath well-respected head coach Bruce Arians.
“I’m trying to do things that have never been done in my sport. That’s actually fun for me, too, because I know I can do them. When a team gives you the opportunity to do those things with them, well … if not with them, then who? At some point, you have to throw your whole body into what you’re doing. You have to say, Let’s ride. Let’s see what we got.
“I want to show everybody what I got.”
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