Tom Brady: The story of the best quarterback to ever play the game

Sports Reporter Joe Freihofer breaks down why he believes Tom Brady is the best quarterback of all time.

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Joe Freihofer, Sports Reporter

It was the year 2000, and the last few picks were being made as the 32 NFL teams made their selections in a depleted and lackluster pool of remaining players. Most teams had already made their big selections, and the remaining players had a slim chance of even making it on the practice squad. With the 199th pick ready to be made by the New England Patriots, commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped up to the podium to make a revolutionary move for the team. Nobody knew it then, but that 6’4″- 211lb kid from Ann Arbor would go on to prove himself and become the greatest quarterback to play the game. Nobody had started believing in him then though, except for himself.

“I’ll never forget the day that he first walked into my office,” said Robert Kraft, recalling the first time that Tom Brady entered his office. “He looked me right in the eyes, almost like a laser beam, and said ‘Hello Mr. Kraft’. I knew who the kid was, and I told him that. Then he looked right at me again and said, ‘I just thought that I should introduce myself. I am the best decision that you have ever made.'”

That year at the NFL combine, Brady was average at best, appearing quirky and awkward in the pocket with good arm potential but poor mechanics. His footwork was slow and unpolished; he even managed to come away with one of the slowest 40 yard dash times among all quarterbacks in the year 2000, with a time of 5.24 seconds. Brady was lanky, raw, and incomplete. He was simply another college quarterback willing to give it his all at the highest level. Luckily for Brady, hard work and a tenacious attitude were all he needed to be great. He simply waited for his time.

Brady started out in the league as a backup to Patriots starter Drew Bledsoe. During his second season, however, Bledsoe went down with a season ending injury that allowed Brady to grab the reigns of the team and prove himself as the franchise player. That season, Brady led them the rest of the season all the way to Super Bowl XXXVI, and he won. From that season forward, Brady has been the face of the entire Patriots organization, making incredible throws to stars like Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski. The veteran QB is currently 39 years of age, and he continues to get better every year.

Brady’s career is a rare thing in professional sports. Athletes in today’s game are now required to be more athletic and speedy than ever to be able to avoid crushing blows in the pocket and adapt to the popular spread-offense system. Brady is straight long, slow, pokey, and timely. He’s not nimble on his feet, does not explode past the line of scrimmage for gains when there are not any options down field, and he does not make guys miss by swinging out one way or the other. Instead, Brady trusts his guys up front, hangs in tough, and steps into every single throw that he makes. The Atlanta Falcons seemed to really be tearing him up in the backfield, racking up 5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss in their tragic and unfathomable loss to Brady and Belichick. Let us not forget that Brady had a pretty ugly first half, overthrowing open receivers, holding the ball for too long, and failing to convert on crucial third downs that allowed Atlanta to run up the score.

Let’s also not forget that the Patriots are coached by one of the most ingenious coaches in the league. Belichick has had his fair share of Super Bowls alongside Brady, and he has been known for being able to develop players and turn them into something special. But seriously, what do I think makes Tom Brady the greatest quarterback to ever play the game?

For starters, it is his ability to be able to dominate against star-studded teams with a side that has been battered by injuries and lacks playmakers. Brady thrived this season without one of the biggest star TEs in the league. Instead, he had to work with guys like Kevin Hogan, who did not even play football in college. Instead, he was a lacrosse player at Penn State University. Some others were Dion Lewis, who was cut by the Browns two years prior and was scooped up by Belichick. With an average receiving core and a fairly sturdy offensive line, he toppled the highest scoring offense in the NFL and overcame a 28-3 score line deficit at the end of the 3rd quarter.

He is also the only quarterback to ever win 5 Super Bowls, and the only player ever to do it with the same team. He has also appeared in the most Super Bowls ever, seven. He is 4th all time in career passing yards, 4th in career touchdown passes, and 3rd in career passer rating. He has won more playoff games than any other quarterback with a record of 25-9, and his combined 208 regular and postseason wins is an all time record. These are a few reasons why Tom Brady, the scrawny and awkward lottery pick from Ann Arbor, has turned himself into the greatest to ever play.

The scariest part about everything is that Brady wants to play for 3 to 5 more years. The Patriots could continue to dominate in the coming seasons with the return of Gronk, one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, and cap space of $65 million dollars to spend on new players for next year. He believes that he is at the top of his game, and his incredibly rigorous diet and fitness system allows him to keep his body in top form. If he can stay injury free these next few years, then he could be one of the oldest QBs to ever play. (The record held by George Blanda who started his career in 1949 and did not retire until 1975. Blanda played until he was 48.)

Time will tell how great Tom Brady will truly become, but he continues to blow the minds of spectators and his opposition with the passing of each season. With Bill Belichick at the helm and Brady’s relentless passion and hunger to be better, the Patriots have the world on a string. They are champions of the world, and I believe that their quarterback is the best to ever play the game.