Tom Brady recently called his offensive linemen a bunch of fat cows during practice. He also recently celebrated a BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing touchdown in a preseason game as if it had just put the nail in the coffin for another Super Bowl victory.
The emotions from the 33-year-old veteran of 127 NFL regular-season games, 18 playoff games and four Super Bowls has everyone wondering … why?
“If the quarterback won’t do it, then who will do it? I think that’s how I always think about it,” he told reporters Tuesday in Atlanta. “If it’s like, ‘Hey guys, that’s all right. It was a [bad] play, but we’ll get the next one.’ That’s not the way it works. The first rep of a drill is always the most important because you never get it back. It always sets the tempo and the timing.”
Brady sounded more like a high school coach trying to inspire a bunch of lollygagging 15-year-olds than he did a veteran who is expected to simply go through the motions at practice.
“You don’t go out and throw interceptions, you don’t walk around, you don’t jog through unless it’s a jog through. Period,” he said. “We’re coming out here and competing. We came a long way for these practices. May as well come out and play our best.”
His efforts aren’t going unnoticed.
“Tom is amazing,” said Falcons head coach Mike Smith after the two teams’ joint practice. “I never had an opportunity to really see him and stand right there in the huddle. You see why he’s had the success he’s had. … Tom’s body language, his demeanor [stands out]. He’s got a great grasp of the offense he’s putting guys in the right spots. He’s making corrections after plays are over. You see why he’s been to those Pro Bowls.”
Many have speculated that Brady’s attitude this summer is that of a man whose window for championships is closing and a man who learned two years ago that nothing is guaranteed. One more hit to the knee or one bad break could spell the end for anyone, and Brady’s not ready for that day to come.
So far this year, at least, Brady said he is feeling great.
“I feel great — as great as you can feel,” he said. “My arm feels good. My legs feel good. … Finger feels good. I’ve got no concerns.”
He has no concerns about his body, sure, but this summer, Brady’s been gunning for perfection in just about everything he’s done. That’s a quest that can never be fully conquered, but that’s not stopping him — even in practice. The rest of the team would benefit by taking note.