Until Tom Brady himself actually tells us, we'll never truly, officially know why he decided to leave the New England Patriots and sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We do have a few good theories, though. He may have wanted to find a place where he'd have more input as a veteran QB. He could have wanted a new challenge, since he'd been with the Pats for 20 years and won everything there is to win multiple times.
Clyde Christensen, the Bucs QB coach, believes he knows at least one of the reasons Brady left, because he heard it from Brady himself.
Brady wanted to emulate Peyton Manning
Christensen went on the CBS Sports Radio's "Zach Gelb Show" last week and revealed that Brady opened up to him about one of the reasons he left New England. Brady apparently wanted to equal his former rival, Peyton Manning, and win a Super Bowl with a second franchise.
Did @TomBrady ever open up as to why he left the New England #Patriots? @Buccaneers QB coach Clyde Christensen told us 1⃣ reason why.
Full Zach Gelb Show on @CBSSportsRadio chat here: https://t.co/SIGkLlNNX6 pic.twitter.com/rXhbBdSngg
— Zach Gelb (@ZachGelb) February 24, 2021
“There was a part of him the first time I met him…He said one of the things that looked really fun and challenging to him is what Peyton did in Denver. There was something about that challenge that hit [Brady] right. ‘Hey, I’m going to go see if I can do this again somewhere else.’
“I do think that the challenge of that was a huge thing for him. Twenty-one years is a long time. Sometimes there’s time for a change. He’s mentioned several times that he was impressed with it and that looked fun and challenging to him.”
This is how you know Brady is just on a different level than most people. Going into his age 43 season, after 20 years and six Super Bowls, Brady looked at the challenge of winning a Super Bowl with a new team — a team that had gone 7-9 the previous year — and thought, "Yeah, I think that would be fun." But that's why Brady is Brady.
Wanting to "match" Manning is also something that's very Brady. Manning has been out of the NFL for five years and Brady is still using him as bulletin board material. It doesn't matter that Manning's situation was different, that neck surgery resulted in a mutual parting of the ways with the Indianapolis Colts, and that's why he signed with the Denver Broncos. For Brady, if a legendary quarterback has done something that he hasn't, it's time to start figuring out how to summit that peak.
Brady has accomplished more than pretty much any quarterback ever has, and his records will stand for a long, long time. But it seems like he's never truly satisfied, which is what makes him such a fierce and relentless competitor.
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