Patriots' Tom Brady Says He's Worn Same Shoulder Pads Since 1995 Michigan Debut

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2019

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Tom Brady's shoulder pads technically qualify as a millennial. 

The New England Patriots quarterback first revealed in August on NBC Sports Boston's Quick Slants the Podcast he has worn the same shoulder pads for 25 years.

"They've gotten reconditioned a little bit, but I think once you find something you like, you kind of stick with it," Brady said then. "I've always kind of liked the way they felt, the shape of them. People have tried to put me in a lot of other ones."

Jon Falk was Michigan's equipment manager when Brady started his career with the Wolverines in 1995. Falk recently explained to ESPN's Mike Reiss how he had the Douglas-brand shoulder pads crafted to the star's specifications.

"Douglas was out of Houston, Texas, and if a kid wanted something special on his pads, I'd call down to them and they would custom make them," he said. "I remember Tom wanted lighter epaulets and caps. He wanted to cover down into the chest area. I knew we had a special pad cut for that type of protection."

Reiss noted the shoulder pads have undergone numerous tweaks over the years to ensure they're safe enough to wear during games.

It certainly puts Antonio Brown's helmet saga in perspective, though shoulder pads aren't designed to protect the head. Brown filed a grievance against the NFL when the league informed him he'd no longer be able to use his preferred model, which was more than 10 years old.

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Brady also had to grudgingly switch helmets for the same reason.

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