Tom Brady watched a lot of college football on Saturday nights last season, meaning he got to see a great deal of Deshaun Watson, the dynamic quarterback who led Clemson to a national title.
Brady’s biggest takeaway? Man, that dude is fast.
“If I could run a 4.7(-second 40-yard dash), man, I would have been the first overall pick,” Brady told reporters Wednesday after his New England Patriots held a joint practice with Watson’s new squad, the Houston Texans, in West Virginia. “Unfortunately, I ran a 5.2.
“I wouldn’t have been the first overall pick — I change that. I probably would’ve been a fourth-rounder. I wish I could make some of those plays.”
While Watson, the 12th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, is looking to prove himself as Houston’s quarterback of the future, Brady is preparing to enter his 18th NFL season. And while he’s still not someone you’d bet on in a footrace, the Patriots QB is a master at adapting his game to make up for his limited athleticism.
“Look, every player has strengths and weakness, and you learn to play to your strengths, and you learn to develop your weaknesses,” Brady told reporters. “I’m still working on those things in my 18th year. I wish I was born 6-foot-5, 240, could run a 4.5, jump 40 inches, bench 415, but you can’t. You play to your strengths, and I think with our team, I’ve been able to learn and think my way through the game.
“I tell the guys all the time — ‘Nothing good happens when I’ve got the ball in my hands.’ So the faster I can get it out of my hands, the better it is, which means we’ve got to have a lot of trust. I think there are a lot of other players in the league, like Russell (Wilson) or Aaron (Rodgers) that prove that when the ball is in their hands a lot of great things happen — Ben Roethlisberger.”
Brady said he continues to find new ways of maximizing both his personal strengths and those of his team, which enters the 2017 season as the clear Super Bowl favorite.
“It’s about improving the things that maybe you’re not so good at, which I’m going to keep trying to do, and keep building on the things you are good at,” Brady said. “We’ve got a lot of good players on the team. We’re trying to build our core, our foundation. Every player has those same things, and then it’s kind of a jigsaw puzzle, and you figure it out from week to week. You get your matchups. That’s the beautiful part about football.”
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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