Many people have accused me of being a hater in regards to Tom Brady. What people often misconstrue as hatred is simply myself feeling that Tom Brady is not as perfect as people envision him to be.
As a result, it has become quite common for some Brady fans to be all too quick to throw the "hate" card out at me in an effort to discredit my opinions towards him.
In actuality, I'm not a hater of Tom Brady at all.
He's certainly not my favorite player in the league, but just because I do not feel he is as good as some other quarterbacks does not mean I hate him.
Personally, I feel that Tom Brady is a great quarterback and a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has done some amazing things over the course of his career.
Patriots fans already know the laundry-list of great Brady moments, but I myself have always found value in analyzing the circumstances that surround any player's achievements.
Thus is the case with Tom Brady.
For the benefit of the uncertain, I'm going to now explain exactly how I feel about Tom Brady in regards to a number of things so that way I can hopefully help people to better understand my views about him.
Tom Brady is great.
Anyone who has ever claimed that I have said he "su*cks" is out of their mind. Ryan Leaf is a quarterback who "su*cked" in my opinion. Needless to say, Tom Brady is in a different stratosphere then him.
I'm not as impressed by his Super Bowl rings as I am by his consistent ability to remain productive. He has not done so to a phenomenal degree but he can certainly lay claim to being one of the most consistent quarterbacks of our generation, and that's saying something.
I feel that his 2005 season was far better then any of his Super Bowl years due to the fact that he was far more productive. In 2005, he didn't have the defensive backing to get far in the playoffs but it would be idiotic of me to hold that against him.
I feel that his 2007 season is light years better then any other point in his career. The fact that he lost in the Super Bowl and played poorly in the AFC championship game are other factors that would be stupid to hold against him. He played one bad game and one mediocre game, so what?
If the Patriots had finished with a 10-6 record and missed the post-season but Brady still put up identical numbers, he would have had just as great of a season (minus the opportunity to have a great game against Jacksonville).
I do not feel that his 2007 season was more impressive then Peyton Manning's 2004 season. He had one wide receiver who caught 43 percent of all his touchdown passes and hogged up coverage that allowed other receivers to benefit from. Randy Moss is the player who has truly been stripped of the proper recognition he deserved.
Manning spread the ball around more and finished with only one less touchdown in 76 fewer passing attempts. Both quarterbacks played fantastic seasons, but I'd give Manning the slight edge due to the circumstances in which his numbers were attained.
Speaking of Peyton Manning, yes I do feel that he is better then Tom Brady. Manning has been more consistent, put up better numbers, and has played more quality seasons then Brady.
Part of that is not his fault because Manning has played four more years but that means Brady has a lot of catching up to do.
I feel that Tom Brady is credited far to much for his team's accolades. The Patriots are one of the finest teams to come around in a very long time. Their Super Bowl rings were won as a team and they'd be the first people to tell you that.
If Tom Brady played for the Detroit Lions, he would have nothing. Peyton Manning helped turn around a 3-13 team and a league embarrassment into a perennial powerhouse. Brady took over a team with a top-10 ranked defense from day one.
I certainly feel that Brady fans completely disregard the impact of playing with a top-tier defense. That is 50 percent of the entire game in which Brady had the privilege to play. Defense wins championships, and I feel the Patriots' defense had a bigger impact in winning those championships than Tom Brady.
I also feel that Tom Brady has had the benefit of playing with one of the best coaching staffs of all time. Think about how many coordinators from New England ended up landing head coaching jobs elsewhere.
I'm not saying we should take away from Tom Brady, but we should certainly consider the circumstances.
Bottom line, Tom Brady is great, but far from the greatest. I feel that he is an excellent football player who happened to land smack-dab in the middle of the best franchise of our generation.
He's one of the best to ever play, but he is overrated to a large degree as well.
The issue really is people's inability to separate team accolades from individual talent. I have nothing against Tom Brady, as he's not much of a factor in my life.
I respect his passion for the game and all of his accomplishments. I just feel at the end of the day that there are still a select few who are better then him.