Tom Brady has written about why he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but did he take a veiled shot at Bill Belichick?
After two decades embedded in “The Patriot Way”, Tom Brady knows how to say a lot words while not saying anything particularly interesting. But as he moves on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s worth looking for signs of how he feels about moving on from the Patriots after such a long and successful run.
Coincidentally or not Brady has written a piece for The Player’s Tribune, the site founded by his new Tampa Bay landlord Derek Jeter. He of course reflected at length on his time in New England, from a personal and football perspective, while expanding on his decision to sign with the Buccaneers.
But there’s a particular paragraph that stands out. It comes off as bluntly honest, if nothing else, as Brady moves to an organization he will be unfamiliar with at the start.
They’ve welcomed me as one of their own. They want to listen to what I have to say. I’m excited to be embraced fully for what I can bring to the Bucs. In turn I’m ready to embrace fully a team that is confident in what I do — and what I bring — and is willing to go on this ride with me.
A team that is confident in what I do-and what I bring.
From using his start as an overlooked sixth-round pick as a driving force, to proving those who might doubt he can play as long as he wants to wrong, Brady always finds sources of motivation and reasons he can’t be complacent. Now, he seems to have found a new one–Bill Belichick.
If owner Robert Kraft had his way, Brady would have remained a Patriot and played his entire career in one uniform. It was also easy to see Brady as the exception to Belichick’s cutthroat roster management rules, which say anyone can be gone if they’re deemed to no longer be useful or aren’t as useful as they were.
It so happened Brady wanted and got a contract out that would allow him to become a free agent this year, which opened the door to the idea he’d leave. When it came down to it the Patriots didn’t seem all that interested in keeping him, with money or years as the likely deal-breakers for territory they would not enter.
Brady ends the piece by writing “I want to show everybody what I got.”
The new people he’ll work with in Tampa Bay are surely high on that list. But it’s naive to think the head coach he’s leaving behind in New England isn’t on a fresh list of those the greatest quarterback of all-time wants to show something to.