By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — As he rushed off the field following Washington’s playoff-clinching victory on Sunday night, rookie defensive end Chase Young was pretty amped up. And he had a message for one Tom Brady.
“Tom Brady, Tom Brady, I’m coming! I want Tom! I want Tom,” screamed the rookie, channeling his inner Chris Farley channeling his inner Norman Schwarzkopf.
Young knows his first playoff game will be against the GOAT, and had his own “I WANT HOLYFIELD!” moment in calling out the Buccaneers quarterback. He’s certainly not the first to publicly put Brady in his crosshairs, and Brady understands it. Every defensive player in the NFL wants to hit the age-defying 43-year-old with six Super Bowl rings.
Brady is up to the challenge just as much as the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft. And the former Michigan man thinks he’s figured out the nexus of Young’s comments.
“[Young] went to Ohio State, so naturally, I think the Ohio State-Michigan thing wears off on him a little bit,” Brady said Wednesday, as the Buccaneers gear up for Saturday night’s NFC wild card game against the Washington Football Team. “I understand that. We’re prepared for a tough challenge. Should be a fun game.”
Those college rivalries never die, and Brady knows it. He’s dealt with former Buckeyes throughout his 21 years in the NFL, many of them on his own roster. He and former Patriots linebacker and current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel always had a little extra pep in their step the week leading up to the big Michigan-Ohio State game, and always had a friendly wager on the matchup. In 2012, Brady had to wear Vrabel’s old Buckeyes jersey during practice when Ohio State got the best of Michigan. The QB also had to wear a Buckeyes t-shirt in 2015, the result of his wager with special teamer Nate Ebner.
Brady, who is twice Young’s age, called the Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite “a great young player.” The Buccaneers offensive line will have their hands full with the 21-year-old Young, who racked up 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in his first NFL season.
But Brady has the Tampa Bay offense firing on all cylinders, averaging 37 points per game over the team’s four-game win streak to close the regular season. Now Brady has some bulletin board material in his back pocket, which always served as some extra motivation throughout his career in New England.
Young is standing by his comments, as he should. But he may be in for a rude awakening when the Bucs and the Football Team kick off Saturday night in Washington.