BOSTON (CBS) — Among football fans, Tom Brady can be something of a mythical figure. That’s even sometimes the case among actual NFL players, too.
Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin filled in to write Peter King’s weekly football column this week, and he dedicated an entire section to describing “The Real Tom.”READ MORE: Red Sox Will Try Kyle Schwarber At First Base
Godwin said that even when he saw reports last March that said Brady was choosing between the Buccaneers and Chargers, he figured there was zero chance that Brady would end up with the Bucs. That changed in a hurry.
Then I saw we’re agreeing to terms with Tom. I got a notification on my phone. Still I didn’t believe it. I went on Instagram to see if there was any other news on it. I saw a direct message notification. It said it was from “Tom Brady.”
I was like, no, no, no, no, nah, nah. This can’t be the real Tom.
It was the real Tom.
Let me pull it up on my phone. March 17. He said he was excited to play with me, he’s watched me a lot over the years. He even threw a college joke in there: “I won’t hold it against you that you’re a Penn State guy.”READ MORE: NBA Honors Terrence Clarke, Draft Prospect From Boston Who Died In April
Then he said congrats on your engagement.
I had just gotten engaged. And the greatest player of all time is DM-ing me wishing me good luck with my engagement and saying he’s excited to play with me! That was just shocking to me. I get drafted by Tampa, never thinking I’d ever have a chance to play with Tom Brady, and now, in the prime of my career, he’s gonna be my quarterback.
Godwin, who was coming off a year where he was named to the All-Pro Second Team and earned a Pro Bowl spot, said he wasn’t sure what to expect for the first offseason throwing session with Brady.
“I walk up at 7:15 that morning. Is Tom gonna be a Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan-type, super-locked-in from the minute he gets out there? A real no-BS guy? But I walk up and he’s the friendliest guy. For someone who’s so accomplished and as highly regarded as he is, he was humble and receptive to the thoughts and opinions of his new teammates. We helped teach him the playbook, and he was super-receptive,” Godwin wrote. “I remember thinking, ‘He’s out here to earn our respect, to show that he was here to work. No one’s gonna be given anything.’ That message was received loud and clear. He never said anything like, Do what I say! Very cool for me to see someone so accomplished to be working as hard as he was, but also like just a normal person who wanted to be one of the guys.”
Injuries — and what he described as some early growing pains for an offense that had no real offseason or preseason — limited Godwin from reaching his All-Pro numbers in 2020. But he still caught 65 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 regular-season games. More importantly, Godwin caught 16 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown in four playoff games, en route to the Bucs’ second Super Bowl in franchise history — and Brady’s seventh career championship.
As for the 2021 season, Godwin said that Brady’s arm is “so live,” and that the Bucs know that they’ll have to once again work for everything they get as they try to win another championship.MORE NEWS: Celtics Pick 18-Year-Old French Pro Juhann Begarin In Second Round Of NBA Draft
“As for Tom, we’ve thrown a few times this spring. His arm is so live,” Godwin said. “What I appreciate about him is the ball he throws is so receiver-friendly — the touch, and putting it right where you want it. I think, mentally, he has a good feel for the fact that he knows everyone isn’t like him. Because he’s like, ‘Okay, on to the next one.’ But he’s not forcing his attitude onto anyone. Now, if we get to training camp, and guys keep saying, Remember this and that from last year? Then he’d say something. But I don’t see that happening. We know what the mission is.”