Pretty much everyone expects Tom Brady to play with the competitive fire of 10,000 suns this Sunday in Cleveland, including one of his closest friends.
Aaron Shea, a former college teammate of Brady’s who went on to play six seasons for the Browns, believes the four-game Deflategate suspension Brady just endured will make the New England Patriots quarterback an even more formidable foe than he already was.
“I think Deflategate hurt Tommy a lot more than he’ll let anyone know,” Shea told ESPN.com’s Ian O’Connor. “We barely talked about the details other than a lot of f-bombs going back and forth. But now you’ve pissed off the GOAT. I grew up in Illinois, and if you got under Michael Jordan’s skin, he would score 50 or 60 on you. This is only going to make Tom better. It’s going to hurt the other 31 teams because Tom is healthy, he didn’t have to take any hits the first four games, and now he’s angry.
“I want him to stick it to Roger Goodell so bad. At the end of the year, I want him up there holding that Lombardi Trophy and taking it from Roger Goodell. Then I’d tell Tom, ‘That’s it, man, you couldn’t go out any better than that.’ It’s just that every year he adds two seasons to how long he wants to play. He may play until he’s 50.”
Brady’s first post-suspension opponent will be the Browns, Shea’s former team and the only NFL club still seeking its first win this season.
“My poor Browns just can’t catch a break,” Shea told O’Connor. “It’s just their luck that they didn’t get the Patriots on the schedule in Week 3. But Tom is family, and I’ll be pulling for him. I think he’s going to light the Browns up, and I think the Browns know it’s coming. And so does the rest of the NFL.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports