By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Prior to the kickoff of the 2021 season, the Buccaneers got to enjoy the debut of their two features from NFL Films on Wednesday night.
As Super Bowl films go, they weren’t great. (We’ve become judgmental connoisseurs here in New England, no doubt.) “America’s Game” featured the traditional retelling of the full season, while “No Risk It No Biscuit” focused on the career of head coach Bruce Arians, and his long road to Super Bowl glory. They were fine films, but like most things revolving around the year 2020, they weren’t quite as good as we’ve come to expect.
A part of that no doubt had to do with a very limited amount of Tom Brady. As tends to happen occasionally with Brady, he kind of sidestepped the spotlight for these. He didn’t wear a mic during some of the biggest games, and he didn’t sit down for any interviews for the films. He’s a busy guy, you know?
There was one clip, though, that shined yet another light on Brady’s unique quest for perfection, his defining character trait that has driven him to continue playing at a ridiculous age and has driven him to become the unquestioned greatest player of all time.
The moment came on the sideline during the Buccaneers’ Week 7 win in Las Vegas over the Raiders. A Brady touchdown pass to Scotty Miler in that game was very similar to the one that Brady threw to Miller to stun the Packers just before halftime of the NFC Championship Game, so the “No Risk It No Biscuit” narrative did a bit of a callback to the regular-season throw.
If you forgot, the throw might have been the best one of Brady’s entire career. No, that is not hyperbole:
TOM BRADY 10¢ THROW
— PFF (@PFF) October 25, 2020
There’s dropping it in a bucket on a pass that travels 75 yards in the air, and then there is that. It couldn’t have been more perfect — or so one might think.
As it turns out, Brady wasn’t overly pleased with that pass. He liked it … but he didn’t love it.
A sideline microphone caught the conversation after that touchdown, and Brady wasn’t particularly eager to hear too much praise from his coaches or teammates.
“Not on my scale,” Brady said when he heard offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich’s grade. “On my scale, that might have been a … B-minus.”
I believed and still believe that Tom Brady’s touchdown to Scotty Miller vs the Raiders last year was one of the single best physical throws of Brady’s entire career. Maybe the very best (at age 43 lol).
Brady gave it a B-minus.
Well all right then. pic.twitter.com/2Gjfr7kWJu
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) September 9, 2021
Brady said he would have preferred throwing a ball that would have allowed Miller to extend his arms to make the catch, instead of hauling it in so closely to his chest.
“I thought that was six inches short,” Brady said. “A little inside, a little inside. I like arms fully extended.”
That’s probably a bit extreme. Maybe he was laying it on a little thick there. Because that throw was perfect.
But then again, he is Tom Brady, and nobody else is Tom Brady, and nobody else will ever again be Tom Brady. So perhaps the man was being truthful.
Always looking to improve. Always looking for more.
(Side note: Brady must have given the touchdown to Miller vs. the Packers a C-minus. A borderline underthrow. Trash. Shameful!)
It was just one moment from a long season. But as Brady nears the actual end of his career, moments like those help illustrate and display exactly who he is and exactly what he’s about.