Have you ever wondered what Colts fans really think about Tom Brady? Beyond the obvious hatred which must always come first, how do I, Ryan Michael, actually feel about the Patriots' legend I've been accused of bashing on numerous occasion?
Well, the answer is simple.
Tom Brady is a great quarterback. I'll reiterate that statement: He's actually beyond great. In the long and storied history of the National Football League, you'd be hard pressed to find many quarterbacks better than Tom Brady.
Don't let my favoritism of Peyton Manning lead you to believe that I am not capable of giving Tom Brady his rightful dues. Yes, I feel Manning to be the better of the two, but my true feelings regarding Tom Brady might come as shock to most of you.
There is a difference between a player being a rival of your team, and saying that player sucks. Tom Brady does not and has never sucked.
Allow me to analyze the career of Mr. Brady in an effort to express a more accurate opinion regarding his legacy.
I feel that Brady's college career was highly underrated.
He wasn't drafted in the sixth round because he was a bad college quarterback, he was drafted in the sixth round because NFL scouts did not have faith in Brady's physical capabilities.
In Michigan, Brady led the Wolverines to a 20-5 record during the games he started.
Such a high winning percentage was quite impressive, especially considering he capped off his college career with a victory in the 1999 Orange Bowl over Alabama by throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite such impressive accolades, NFL scouts still questioned his pro-potential and as a result, Brady dropped to the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.
We all know that Tom Brady came out of nowhere.
Since he was a sixth-round draft selection in 2000, it was a good thing the New England Patriots picked him instead of Tim Rattay, whom they were also considering. The Patriots saw potential in the young quarterback from Michigan but not even they could have predicted how successful he would become.
In his first season active, Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to an 11-5 record and a victory in Super Bowl XXXVI. He led the same Patriots team that finished 5-11 a season before to a victory in the Super Bowl against one of the most feared teams in recent memory, the 2001 St. Louis Rams.
Such success continued as Brady managed to win three Super Bowls in four years.
He also managed to gather two Super Bowl MVP awards in the process. In each contest, he led the Patriots to three-point victories. Many could argue that Brady was the difference between the Patriots becoming the Buffalo Bills of the 2000's and the dynasty they soon became.
I'd argue that Tom Brady was better in 2005 than he was during any of his Super Bowl seasons. The man completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,110 yards, 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Not bad for a quarterback stuck playing for a team who's defense ranked 17th in the league in terms of points per game allowed.
In 2006, he led the Patriots all the way to the AFC Championship game despite having no exceptional talent at the skilled positions on offense.
In 2007, Tom Brady would set a new standard. He was 398 of 578 for 4,806 yards, an NFL record 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
Wrap your mind around that for a moment. That puts to shame some of the best seasons of most Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
During 2007, he also led the Patriots to an 18-1 record, falling just short of completing an undefeated season. At this point in time, Tom Brady ranks as one of the highest rated passers in NFL history with a career quarterback rating of 92.9.
I'd also go as far as to say that he will likely eclipse Joe Montana's numbers. If he does, he will have done so spending six seasons without any wide receiver close to the caliber of Jerry Rice.
For myself personally, I feel that Tom Brady is better than many great quarterbacks who have played the game.
He's far better than John Elway. He has all of the production of a player like John Elway minus the interceptions.
He's 10 times better than other winning quarterbacks like Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, and Troy Aikman.
Quite simply put, Tom Brady is one of the all time greatest quarterbacks.
To think, all of you thought that it would be impossible for a Patriots-hating Colts fan to recognize true talent. Hopefully this helps settle some of the misconceptions traveling throughout the bleacher report community regarding my views about Tom Brady.