A Fan's Perspective on What Tom Brady Means to the New England Patriots

James DiMaioCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots smiles while talking to the media after the AFC divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2005 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  The Patriots defeated the Colts 20-3.  (Photo By Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

When Tom Brady gets sacked, thousands of fans simultaneously experience heart palpitations while TV remotes are thrown against living room floors across New England.

Why, do you ask?

Because Patriots fans know what Tom Brady means to the New England Patriots.

The Patriots didn't just find a diamond in the rough when they drafted Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft; they found a gold-plated diamond dipped in platinum.

Not even coach Bill Belichick could have even begun to foresee what they drafted in the scrawny, slow quarterback out of Michigan: a fearless leader, a tenacious competitor, a coach among players, a deadly accurate passer, a two-minute drill master, a connoisseur of NFL defenses, a conqueror of the AFC east, a no-huddle genius and a team-first player that would ultimately bring the Lombardi to Boston three times and become the league's MVP twice.

Beyond these accolades, Brady also allows those around him—from teammates to members of the coaching staff—to flourish.

He is the reason why Belichick knew he could cut ties with defensive greats and rebuild the defense while still competing for the Lombardi year after year. He is why Belichick and Nick Caserio opt not to spend high draft picks on wide receivers, knowing that veterans will jump at the chance to catch footballs from one of the greatest of all time.

Brady allowed offensive coordinators Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels and Bill O'Brien to remain calm when the team was down in the fourth quarter because they had seen Brady put the team on his shoulders and rally back so many times to get the "W".

Brady is why one of the most feared wide receivers in the league is an undrafted guy that stands at a whopping 5’9’’ and why the league leader in receiving touchdowns was a tight end in 2011.

The Patriots flex one of the most complex and most successful offenses in the entire league, hold NFL records like the most points scored in a single season, and have warranted both fear and respect from defenses throughout the league for over a decade, all because No. 12 has the rare capability of commanding such a unit.

So now, about to enter his 13th season with the team, isn't it obvious what Tom Brady means to the New England Patriots?

He means everything.


James is a New England Patriots featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @JamesDiMaio for more news and updates.