New England Patriots: Tom Brady calls himself ‘worst quarterback in NFL’

June 17, 2017
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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of the greatest athletes this planet’s seen, but even he feels mortal at times.

Tom Brady will not cower away from a challenge like increasing age. Few quarterbacks have been capable of dominating, let alone starting, around the age of 40.

Brady, 39, intends to shatter that mold after coming off arguably his second-most productive season, logging a 112.2 quarterback rating. The last time Brady had a better QBR (117.2 in 2007), he won every regular season competition. Wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker were at his side then.

This offseason, the Patriots welcomed wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Andrew Hawkins to the roster. While not having an individual as transcendent as Moss, the Patriots’ pass catchers are undeniably dangerous. And Brady is sharp as a tack for the most part.

Here’s what ESPN’s Mike Reiss had to say about the signal-caller at minicamp:

If an onlooker closed his or her eyes and was told these practices were taking place in 2007, there wouldn’t have been any reason to question it based on Brady’s work. He looks the same as he has over the course of most of his career, which is a credit to his year-long dedication to his craft. His arm strength in particular is still there.

Although Brady’s numbers and current ability will live on in sports history, he’s barely complacent. Whenever he falters, be it one interception in practice, Brady refuses to let himself off easy. In fact, he’s harder on himself than most. Brady assessed himself in this manner after practice recently, per WEEI:

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“I left practice today, this is my 18th offseason, and we’re on the field for two and a half hours. I walked off the field and I thought, ‘I am the worst quarterback in the NFL. How could I have possibly made those throws? It was so dumb to do that.’ When I walk off the field, and I think, ‘Man, if it’s not perfect for me, I lose sleep.’ I threw an interception today. I feel like I let my team down. I let all of my teammates down.”

Meanwhile, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is already onto 2017, via CBS Sports. Brady wouldn’t object to that sentiment. Their personas match so closely, fusing resilience and focus to make New England the league’s most impressive four-quarter team.

Constantly training their full attention to each and every play enables Brady and Belichick to bloom when the scoreboard looks bleak. For almost three quarters of Super Bowl LI, Brady and the Patriots offense just weren’t working. Most Patriots haters, relishing in the struggles, didn’t remember that the Michigan alum and Belichick had previously escaped a very deep hole.

I’ve learned to never question the pair following my exit from Gillette Stadium in 2013, when the Patriots were down 24-0 to the Denver Broncos at halftime. Brady and Co. stormed back in the second half and miraculously won the game. Weeks before against the New Orleans Saints, another comeback had surfaced. Little-known wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins caught the game-winning touchdown as the clock expired.

Many hailed Brady until he lost to the Broncos by 10 points in the AFC Championship on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. It had been nearly a decade since his last Super Bowl win.

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More than three years have gone by, and Brady has added two more Super Bowl rings to his name. His retirement is on the horizon, though Tom Sr. — his father — believes a sixth title would not conclude his son’s career, courtesy of The Boston Globe. The unappealing 1999 NFL draft pick resumes his tour for perfection on that note.

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