Tom Brady's upcoming matchup vs. Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers has the ex-New England Patriots quarterback reminiscing about the good old days.
Herbert, a 22-year-old rookie out of Oregon, will play in his third NFL game when he suits up Sunday to face Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady, now 43, was asked about his own transition from college to the NFL 20 years ago and how it may compare to Herbert's.
“It feels like a continuation of college, I think, for a lot of the younger players because they’re getting into the league and the game probably has morphed a little bit into what the college game kind of has been. Some younger quarterbacks can play and kind of do some of the things that they did in college, which makes the transition a little bit easier," Brady said.
"It’s a little different than when I started, although the school I played at (Michigan) was probably more of a pro-style team, so it was a little easier for me than it was for some others. It was a long time ago that I was in that situation, but it didn’t feel too big for me. I played at a school where there was a lot of expectation. We played in front of 100,000 people every week, so it was a big-time college program. I think Justin [Herbert] played at a big-time college program too (Oregon), so they had a big following."
Still, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an NFL season unlike any other. Brady acknowledges how it has made the adjustment even more difficult for rookies.
"Now you come in, there’s not a lot of media attention – you don’t see them on a daily basis. Training camp – there wasn’t a lot of people [and] there is no one at the games, so it kind of feels a little different," Brady said. "[It’s a] unique situation for all of us, and certainly for him playing this year, but he’s done a great job in the time he’s been in there and we’re going to have to play good to beat this team.”
Despite the unique transition, Herbert has looked solid in his first two appearances with L.A. During his debut vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, he threw for 311 yards and a touchdown with an interception and a rushing TD. Last week vs. the Carolina Panthers, he threw for 330 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Both games, however, resulted in losses for Herbert and the Chargers. He'll look to earn his first W on Sunday vs. the six-time Super Bowl champion and the Bucs.