MMQB’s Albert Breer is ready to watch Angry Thomas Brady at quarterback for the New England Patriots and he has spoken with former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison to not only get a look at Brady’s character, but also see what it’s like for a veteran at the end of his career to get suspended.
But first, Angry Thomas Brady.
“In the Patriots’ first post-Spygate game, Brady went 25-of-31 for 279 yards and three TDs (123.0 rating) in a 38-14 win over San Diego,” Breer notes. “In the first post-Deflategate game, he put together the best quarterbacked fourth quarter in Super Bowl history in vanquishing a historic Seattle defense. In the first game after he was sanctioned for Deflategate, he threw for four scores and a 143.8 rating in beating Pittsburgh.”
We can add the We’re on to Cincinnati game in 2014 (292 passing yards, 2 TDs, 110.7 rating), the Anthony Smith Humiliation game against the Steelers in 2007 (399 passing yards, 4 TDs, 125.2 rating), and many others.
Anything less than an MVP-caliber performance from Brady will come as a disappointment, especially against this winless Cleveland Browns squad, which might be a little unfair. But Brady has his best offensive line since 2013 and his best group of offensive skill players since probably 2011- if not further back. He’ll have a week to get back in the rhythm of the team, but he’s been around long enough where he can settle in fairly quickly.
Rodney Harrison says that Brady will be back as sharp as ever because that’s just who Brady is at his core.
“It’s the sixth-round mentality,” Harrison said. “I had that same thing. I can relate to Tom, his competitive nature. I’ve had those conversations with him. You ask him why he works so hard. I’m a sixth-round pick. And last year won’t matter to him. So many guys do it, get paid, then shut it down. The more success he has, the harder he works. He knows it’s not hard to get there, as it is to stay there.”
Harrison also thinks that the suspension won’t disrupt Brady’s psyche. Some have speculated that a suspension at this stage in a player’s career could soften their mental fortitude as they turn focus towards what life could be like in retirement. Harrison doesn’t think that will affect Brady at all.
“It’s a humbling process,” Harrison said about being suspended. “Especially in the latter stages of your career, you realize that there’s a timeframe on everything. He’s 39 years old. I was 34 [when Harrison was suspended in 2007 for PEDs]. And I’m feeling in my mind, maybe I’ll play three more years, but you never know. And that’ll motivate him. Maybe your time is winding down. You’re suspended. It makes you reflect on your career.
“How do I want to be remembered?”
“When you’re suspended, it gives you perspective,” he continued. “OK, now, every pass, every down you play matters more. You’ll see that energy from him. If he throws for a touchdown, he’ll run 40 yards, grab the receiver and head butt the guy. The fans there, he’ll yell back at them. He’s gonna be jacked. You watch, he’ll have a Super Bowl mentality.”
Angry Thomas Brady is the best Tom Brady and the goal is for him to head butt players up and down the field this upcoming Sunday. Brady is ready to take the field to prove that he still has what it takes to dominate the league.
Oh, and Brady has 12/1 odds of being MVP this season, the 5th best odds in the NFL, since no one has really separated themselves from the pack so far (other than Falcons QB Matt Ryan). Just in case you were wondering.