Patriots

Bledsoe: Brady 'the same guy I met on the practice squad'

Bledsoe: Brady 'the same guy I met on the practice squad'

While Hall of Famer Joe Montana isn't ready to call Tom Brady the GOAT and fellow HOFer Warren Moon sees deterioration coming for TB12, the quarterback Brady replaced sees a guy who keeps going because he's still fired up by his love of the game.

"He's in a lot of ways still the same guy I met on the practice squad backing us up," Drew Bledsoe, told Bleacher Report, as part of a panel of experts, including Moon, who weighed in on Brady. "He still has that same passion and enjoyment for the game. The thing that keeps him going is really the same thing he had when he got there. The thing that's most impressive is he's been able to maintain that enjoyment of the game and that enjoyment of preparing to play."

Bledsoe said the media gets it wrong if they think the five-time Super Bowl champion is still at it at 41 to burnish his legacy.

“He’s not playing because he needs to prove anything. He’s playing because he wants to play. See, that’s where the media in general gets lost in all this stuff. Oh, a guy has to play for his legacy or A guy has to play to prove something. Ultimately, it’s a game, and you get to play it for a living. You do it as long as you can...There’s nothing more that he enjoys in the world than playing and preparing to play football. If he was worried about legacy, he could have retired a long time ago.”

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Bucs GM describes Tom Brady's 'incredible effect' on organization

Bucs GM describes Tom Brady's 'incredible effect' on organization

The bar has been raised in Tampa Bay with Tom Brady officially in town.

For 20 years in New England, Brady brought the best out of his Patriots teammates and galvanized the organization with his winning mentality. Now, the six-time Super Bowl champion will look to prove he can do the same in a Buccaneers uniform.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht was a player-personnel executive with the Patriots in 2002 and from 2009-11, so he's familiar with the positive impact Brady has on the rest of his team. Friday, he appeared on Sirius XM NFL Radio to share how Brady will set a new standard in Tampa.

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“It’s [an] incredible effect on the entire organization and team that goes beyond the players, too,” Licht said. “And as far as the team, they’re gonna know what the standard is now, and he’s going to bring the best out of everybody.

“You don’t realize it until you leave — I left New England — and you go to other organizations. I went to some great organizations, went to the Super Bowl with some other organizations, but it’s still not the same as being around Tom Brady. Just the effect that he has on everybody, bringing the best out of everybody.

“But not only players, it goes for coaches, it goes for coaches, it for front office, it goes for the business side. I mean, he’s just … everybody has to have their A-game at all times.”

Brady's new teammates are itching to get to work with their new QB. Wide receiver Mike Evans called it "surreal" to have the 42-year-old under center, while another of Brady's weapons, Chris Godwin, welcomed him to Tampa Bay and gifted him his No. 12. 

Former Patriot Nate Ebner says Tom Brady will do his trash talking quietly

Former Patriot Nate Ebner says Tom Brady will do his trash talking quietly

Is Tom Brady a trash talker?

Former New England Patriots defensive back Nate Ebner says so. Well, kind of. 

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"He'll jab a little bit, but he's going to talk his smack quietly," Ebner told Bob Papa and Charlie Weiss on SiriusXM NFL Radio's Opening Drive Friday, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated's Jackson Thompson. "He usually lets his play handle it for him, [but] he'll say some stuff at the end of the day."

Ebner, of course, knows a little too much about Brady's smack-talking after spending eight years with the quarterback in New England. In fact, Ebner, an Ohio State alum, and Brady, former Michigan QB, have a nice little bet throughout the college football season. If Michigan defeats Ohio State, then Ebner has to wear Wolverines gear, but if OSU defeats Michigan, then Brady has to put on some Buckeyes gear. And it's been OSU gear for TB12 the past seven years. Ouch.

Last year, when the Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines again, Brady and Chase Winovich had to sport some Ohio State gear after losing the bet -- at least they were good sports about it. 

With Brady off to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ebner heading to the New York Giants, it's only a matter of time before the trash-talking, and their bet, resumes.