By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Considering the game broadcasts of just about every Patriots game this season announce some sort of new all-time record set by Tom Brady, the quarterback and his legacy have become central discussion points in the football world this season. And as the 41-year-old gears up for yet another postseason run next month, that conversation will only intensify.
Getting ahead of the curve a bit, Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report sought to talk to some experienced football minds — former quarterbacks, players, and coaches, as well as Brady’s personal QB coach — to discuss what the 41-year-old has left in the tank. That included some commentary from Warren Moon, a man who knows the challenges of playing quarterback in the NFL past the age of 40.
And while the entire story is worth reading for its fascinating insight from so many wise football minds, there was one particular comment from Drew Bledsoe that helps to provide perspective as to what is still driving Tom Brady to dedicate himself fully to playing the sport of football, even in his 40s.
Is Brady playing for statistical records? A sixth Super Bowl? Proving people wrong?
Bledsoe said it’s all much simpler than any of that.
“He’s not playing because he needs to prove anything. He’s playing because he wants to play,” Bledsoe said. “See, that’s where the media in general gets lost in all this stuff. Oh, a guy has to play for his legacy or A guy has to play to prove something. Ultimately, it’s a game, and you get to play it for a living. You do it as long as you can. … There’s nothing more that he enjoys in the world than playing and preparing to play football. If he was worried about legacy, he could have retired a long time ago.”
On that, Bledsoe is certainly correct. Brady’s five Super Bowls are more than any quarterback can claim. He’s won more than anyone else. And seemingly every week now, Brady is setting a new record for the combination of his regular season and postseason numbers. He’s generally regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time by most level-headed analysts.
But to Bledsoe, Brady is out there for the enjoyment of being out there.
“He’s in a lot of ways still the same guy I met on the practice squad backing us up,” Bledsoe told Bleacher Report. “He still has that same passion and enjoyment for the game. The thing that keeps him going is really the same thing he had when he got there. The thing that’s most impressive is he’s been able to maintain that enjoyment of the game and that enjoyment of preparing to play.”