Tedy Bruschi can’t imagine anyone else would be capable of the same longevity as Tom Brady.
And it’s not so much regarding the 20 years in the NFL for the veteran quarterback, which is impressive in its own right, but specifically being able to do it under the intense pressure.
It’s no secret that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is similar to a drill sergeant. And Bruschi, who played for Belichick from 2000 to 2009, opened up about the pressure Belichick brings — and thus how impressive it was that Brady was able to thrive in it for so long. The quarterback’s tenure with the Patriots ended Tuesday when he announced he will not be returning to New England.
“The 20 years that’s he’s been able to be in this system, and I’ll say this, the 20 years he’s had to put up with, the mental toughness that he’s had to exhibit under the constant pressure of Bill Belichick and what he puts on the team, and on the players, every single year,” Bruschi said on ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday. “Tom dealt with it for two decades!
“I don’t know if anyone else in the history of the NFL in terms of players could have dealt with Bill Belichick for two decades,” Bruschi said. “And It’s just the very thing about Bill Belichick is, in terms of who he is and what he sees the future going forward. He’s always going to do what he says in those meetings, ‘Do what’s best for the team’ and this falls in line.'”
Bruschi also acknowledged what many in New England apparently are currently feeling — why did it come down to this?
“I think people are wondering why it couldn’t be done and why Tom couldn’t continue, or finish, his career as a New England Patriot. And to where OK, ‘Why can’t some type of concessions be made? In terms of if he wants this type of contract, or if he wants this much input. How come concessions can’t be made in this special circumstance.’ Patriots fans have seen players move on, great players move on, get traded, but why not this one?” Bruschi said.
“… I guess you could say it’s somewhat exciting for next year, but still, a lot of emotions in New England in terms of why.”
That’s something only Belichick can answer.