When the confetti is falling from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium after Super Bowl XLVI, Tom Brady will be regarded as the greatest quarterback of all-time.
There is currently an argument to be made for Joe Montana, John Elway, or Peyton Manning. Perhaps you’re old school and think the answer is Bart Starr or Johnny Unitas. There are a lot of people who think Brady is the greatest of all-time already. But after the 2011 NFL season, Brady will have erased any doubt.
We all know his resume by now. He was drafted out of Michigan University in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, a pick that was completely ignored. He replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe in the second game of his sophomore year and the rest as they say, is history.
He led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory in that first season as a starter, winning the Super Bowl MVP for good measure. He went on to win two more Super Bowls in the next three years to solidify the NFL’s dynasty of the 2000’s.
Brady’s individual records are numerous. They are so numerous in fact that I won’t dare try and list them in this article. You can find them here if you are interested. But what really makes Brady the greatest is the impact he has on the entire team. His individual records are partly a product of being on a great team, but they are a great team in large part because of what Brady brings to the table.
He is a vocal leader on and off the field. He leads by example as well and is the epitome of the Patriot Way. He has learned from, and helped teach, perhaps the greatest head coach of all-time. Bill Belichick has molded Brady into the perfect football player and Brady couldn’t have been a more apt pupil.
And now that Brady is one of the only players that have been on the team since the Super Bowl years, the younger guys look to him for guidance, especially with the shortened preseason.
Which brings us to the 2011 season.
Brady waltzed into Sun Life Stadium in week 1 and leisurely threw for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns. It was the fifth highest yardage total in NFL history. And I don’t think he’s going to cool off very much this year.
New England has a relatively easy schedule and Brady has arguably the most offensive weapons he’s had in his career. If anyone is good enough to overcome a suspect defense and still win a title, it’s the Golden Boy. I think that Brady is going to put this team on his back all season long and take them back to the Super Bowl. A fourth ring would put him in some rarified air.
When players aren’t focused, Brady will hold them accountable. When the games are important, Brady will rally the troops. When the fourth quarter rolls around, Brady will make the play.
And when the confetti falls in February, Tom Brady will be the greatest.
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