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Tom Brady doesn’t run from competition; he thrives on it

New York Jets v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots takes a snap during the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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One of the running themes in the ESPN article regarding the alleged Peyton Place at Patriot Place comes from the notion that long-time starting quarterback Tom Brady felt threatened by the lingering presence of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

As one source with knowledge of the situation told PFT, this image of Brady runs counter to 18 years of NFL experience. In his generation as a pro football player, Brady hasn’t run from competition. He has thrived on it.

Competition has been the constant fuel for his career. When he arrived in New England, the goal was to compete with every other quarterback on the depth chart. When he became the starter after franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a serious internal injury in 2001, Brady continued to focus on competing with anyone and everyone the Patriots would add.

Remember former Colts G.M. Bill Polian’s cockamamie claim that he had pegged Brady as a first-round talent but didn’t draft him before the Patriots took Brady in round six because Indianapolis wasn’t in the quarterback market? The Patriots have drafted eight quarterbacks during Brady’s tenure as starter. Eight.

They took Rohan Davey in round four of the 2002 draft. The drafted Kliff Kingsbury in round six a year later. Matt Cassel arrived via round seven in 2005. Kevin O’Connell came courtesy of round three three years later. The Patriots drafted Zac Robinson in round seven in 2010. Next came Ryan Mallett in 2011’s round three, followed by Jimmy Garoppolo in round two of the 2014 draft, and Jacoby Brissett in round three of 2016.

Through it all, Brady never complained or whined or worried or buckled. Instead, he has embraced the competition, and he has used it to get the absolutely most out of his abilities.

So if, as the ESPN article contends, “Brady has become an advocate of positive thinking” as he has gotten older, why in the world would Brady feel threatened by Garoppolo or anyone else -- especially when Brady has never reacted negatively to competition in the years before becoming an “advocate of positive thinking”?

If the not-so-subtle premise that Brady wanted Garoppolo gone due to the perception that he’s a threat to Brady’s ongoing career with the Patriots collapses, the primary basis for any dysfunction or disharmony about Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft evaporates. Which means that, even if every off-the-record source told ESPN the God’s-honest truth about every aspect of the story, Brady’s history coupled with basic common sense makes the whole thing fall apart.