Tom Brady felt invigorated as the new guy with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and realized the "Patriot Way" wasn't the only way to win a Super Bowl. And he's still motivated to play not out of proving anyone wrong, but a "sickness" to be there.
"When you're in one place for 20 years, you think that's the only way, and I think when you go to a different place you realize, 'wow — there's another way that people do things,'" Brady told Michael Strahan on "Good Morning America."
After 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Brady signed with the Bucs as a free agent heading into the 2020 season. It was a different feeling and a different approach that still ended in a Lombardi Trophy. And for the first time he could be the one new to the group.
"You know when you're at the Patriots, everyone would always come to me and introduce themselves to me because I was kind of the mainstay," he said. "But I was the new guy for the first time, you know, and that was a really different experience."
Brady told Strahan that Bucs head coach Bruce Arians is a "great motivator" with a good feel of what's going on in the locker room and has "great intuition, great evaluation of talent."
Brady still motivated by naysayers
Few thought Brady could lead the Bucs to a championships as a 43-year-old quarterback, but he did. Those naysayers were part motivation for the seven-time Super Bowl winner.
"I was always kind of motivated by people that say 'you can't do it.' You know, 'you're not good enough, you're not fast enough, not big enough, you're not good enough arm,'” Brady said, via GMA. "I've had a body of work over a period of time, so you know, you just say, hey [and] quickly you forget."
Brady said he wasn't focused on what he did or didn't do in the past, but what he could accomplish in the upcoming year.
"I think that's a great part about football," Brady told GMA. "It's not really about what you did last year. It's kind of, what you're going to do this year. So, for me, it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way."
He had a shorter offseason to get up to speed and meet with teammates because of the COVID-19 pandemic and safety restrictions. There were also no preseason games in 2020.
"That's a big part of what I understood last year: Things are gonna be different," he said. "I try to work within what's currently happening, but still try to do the best I could do. All of it was really, really amazing — obviously with the way the season ended — so it was a great year."
Brady still committed to playing
Gisele Bündchen, Brady's wife of 12 years, asked him on the field after the Super Bowl what else the champion had to prove. Brady was asked by Strahan the same question.
"I don't think proving it, for me, is the motivation," Brady told GMA. "I still want to play. I got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a frickin' spiral, you know what I mean?
"Once you stop, you can't go back and do it. I got some more football [left in me]. I mean, not a lot — and I know that. But what I got left, I'm gonna go and give everything I got."
Brady has said he wants to play until he's 45 and would "definitely consider" playing beyond that. He's signed with the Buccaneers through the 2022 season after agreeing to an extension this offseason. The agreement saved $19 million against the cap for 2021, which means all 22 starters on both sides of the ball will return.
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