FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady is the rare player to maintain his foot speed despite a lengthy NFL career. Of course, it helps that the New England Patriots quarterback was never a speed demon to begin with.
Brady ran a 5.24-second 40-yard dash coming out of Michigan before the 2000 NFL Draft, and if anything, he has improved his speed over the past 16 years. That didn’t stop Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman from joking Brady looked like a “clydesdale” on his 10-yard gallop near the goal line Saturday in the Patriots’ divisional-round win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Yeah, I probably looked like a Clydesdale when I was running in that Combine video 16 years ago, too,” Brady said Thursday. “So, at least I haven?t slowed down. At least I?ve maintained it (and) hopefully I?ve improved it a little bit.”
Seriously, though, Brady has done a nice job in recent years of rolling out of the pocket, forcing opposing defenses to scramble while Patriots receivers have additional time to get open. That’s despite the fact the QB should be in the twilight of his football-playing career at 38 years old.
“It?s definitely something that I?ve worked a lot at the last couple of years, because there was a point where I felt like that was becoming a real problem for me as a player — not being able to extend anything,” Brady said. “So, I think that?s been a big point of emphasis the last two or three years, was how to buy everybody more time. I think we?ve done a better job of that the last couple years than I did maybe four or five years ago. So, if it?s to move to throw, I think that?s always a good thing, because we?re probably gaining more yards than it would be if I start running.
“But if I have to run, I think that could be a pretty frustrating thing for a defense, too, because they?re saying, ?How could I let this guy run? Of all the things, this guy??
Brady had 34 carries for 53 yards with three touchdowns this season. The Patriots’ ground game has struggled, so they might need Brady to pick up some yards with his feet Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images