Tedy Bruschi

Tedy Bruschi offers wise advice for Patriots' Jarrett Stidham ahead of 2020 season

Tedy Bruschi offers wise advice for Patriots' Jarrett Stidham ahead of 2020 season

There are many reasons why the New England Patriots are the winningest NFL team since 2000, and one of the biggest reasons for their success is consistently winning the turnover battle.

Not making foolish mistakes/decisions with the football is extremely important, and the Patriots often excel in this area. Lots of the credit for that belongs to Tom Brady. The veteran quarterback has thrown fewer than 10 interceptions in seven of the last 10 seasons. The Patriots led the league with a plus-21 turnover margin in 2019, and they finished in the top five of turnover margin in five of the last six years.

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Maintaining this success will be tougher in 2020 after Brady left the Patriots in free agency and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March.

Jarrett Stidham is the most likely replacement for Brady as New England's starting quarterback, and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi has some wise advice for the 2019 draft pick ahead of the new season.

“Just take care of the football, ” Bruschi told WBZ's Dan Roche. “Offensive line, put the gumption on yourselves. Get that running game going. Stidham is going to be fine. He's got a great mentality. I think it's something where having a little experience of being with Tom is going to help him and realize, 'It’s not Tom Brady I'm following, it's just a buddy of mine and now I've got to come in and do the job.' I think he has the right mentality to do that.”

Taking care of the football is, of course, easier said than done. And one of the quickest ways to lose Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's trust is by not protecting the football. 

There are reasons to believe Stidham can handle the job, though. He showed flashes of his impressive potential during training camp, the preseason and various regular season practices in 2019, and many of his teammates and college coaches have been singing his praises all offseason.

The transition from backup to starter has been made tougher for Stidham due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Normal on-field offseason activities have been put on hold, but the young quarterback has taken a leadership role by organizing private throwing sessions with teammates, including wide receiver Julian Edelman. The more chemistry Stidham can develop with his offensive teammates, the better chance he'll have of protecting the football in his second season.

Tedy Bruschi has perfect reaction to Richard Seymour's Patriots Hall of Fame honor

Tedy Bruschi has perfect reaction to Richard Seymour's Patriots Hall of Fame honor

One of Tedy Bruschi's former teammates will soon join him in the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.

Richard Seymour will be the 30th player inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, the team announced Monday. The former All-Pro defensive end beat out former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel and ex-head coach Bill Parcells in the fan vote.

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Bruschi and Seymour were two of the best and most valuable players on the Patriots teams that won Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. The 2004 Patriots, who won Super Bowl XXXIX over the Philadelphia Eagles, are considered by many people as the best in franchise history, and these defensive stars played pivotal roles on that squad.

Bruschi reacted to Seymour's news on Twitter with the following message:

Seymour might soon be wearing a gold jacket, which is given to players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame in Canton, Ohio. He was a finalist for the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class but didn't make the final cut. Given how close he came to being voted in, you would expect Seymour to eventually get the call to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For now, Seymour will put on the red jacket as the newest Patriots Hall of Famer. 

Here's Tedy Bruschi's advice for Tom Brady's new Buccaneers teammates

Here's Tedy Bruschi's advice for Tom Brady's new Buccaneers teammates

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players are understandably excited Tom Brady decided to sign with their team in NFL free agency after spending 20 years and winning six Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, but one of the veteran quarterback's former teammates has a warning for them.

Ex-Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi knows what it's like to be a teammate of Brady's. They spent eight years together in New England beginning with Brady's arrival as a rookie in 2000 and ending with Bruschi's retirement following the 2008 season.

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The Bucs would be wise to follow his advice on how to succeed with Brady.

"I'll say this right now. If those players see him as that four-letter word, they better get over it," Bruschi recently told ESPN's Jenna Laine. "The four-letter word is a word I will not use to describe him. It's that farm animal, it starts with G. I don't do that. Because that's almost like putting him on a pedestal. It's like, dude, you're still the same guy I intercepted in practice and took 20 bucks from. Come on, now.

"That's my one advice to his teammates right now. He is on a level plane as you, because he's gonna make mistakes, but he's also gonna make you better. And it can't be done without you. Don't look to him to do it. Our teams never did."

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It's easy to fall into the trap of treating Brady like he's above the team. After all, he's won a record six Super Bowl titles and considered by lots of people as the best quarterback in league history.

One of the many reasons for the Patriots' historic success with Brady over the last two decades was head coach Bill Belichick treated his star quarterback like any other player. We've heard plenty of stories about Belichick ripping Brady in meetings and critiquing his play. Brady was not going to get a free pass just because of his Hall of Fame résumé. Everybody, from Brady down to the 53rd player on the roster, was going to be held accountable.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who's been around a long time and worked with several star quarterbacks, would be wise to establish this kind of culture right from the start of Brady's tenure in Tampa Bay.