How about another type of "Brady 6"?
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is arguably the best of all time, but he'll wait until after his career is over to make any judgment. In fact, he's extremely willing to point out all of the quarterbacks that he thinks are more talented.
In an interview with Westwood One, transcribed by WEEI, Brady was asked if he considers himself to be one of the best quarterbacks ever. Here's his response:
"That is a hell of a question and I wouldn't put myself in there. I think there's some incredible players that have played the position and a lot of guys do things differently to get the job done. You see different styles, different techniques. When you look at me being a fan of Joe Montana- nobody ever did it better than Joe Montana. In a way he was like the Michael Jordan of football. The style and the grace and the beauty of what Joe's style was, it never looked hard for Joe.
"Another one of my idols, Steve Young, who was one of the most gifted players to ever play. You look at Troy Aikman, the efficiency with the way he played. You look at Aaron Rodgers and the way that he's playing and you can't imagine another quarterback could play as flawlessly as a guy like Aaron Rodgers. Then you watch Russell Wilson play and you never could imagine someone could get out situations and make plays out of nothing like Russell Wilson. Then you watch Cam Newton play. You're blown away by the different styles of all these different players that make this game so spectacular."
Joe Montana was sitting next to Brady during this interview, but the Patriots quarterback was quick to point out three Hall of Famers in Montana, Young, and Aikman. Brady grew up watching these three, especially as a kid growing up in San Francisco during the 80s and 90s. The Cowboys were the 49ers' Peyton Manning during that era.
Brady also points out three players still active in Rodgers, Wilson, and Newton. Even Brady can appreciate the sheer ability of Rodgers, who can make the impossible passes seem normal on a regular basis, and Wilson is credited as part of the inspiration behind the Patriots quarterback's desire to become more mobile.
"I think of myself as kind of someone who has got to think my way through the game, has to understand coverages, anticipate things. I have to work my butt off all week and work really hard to get to the game feeling confident with what I am trying to accomplish and get down the field to score some points. I guess for me because I have to work so hard at it and try so hard at it, that's part of enjoying it for me, but I look at other players and say, ‘Gosh, I wish I could make it look as easy as they make it look.'"
From a sheer talent standpoint, Brady doesn't rank himself towards the top of the league, in any era. But it's the hard work and determination that has allowed him to not just compensate for his limited physical ability, but surpass his more talented peers.
Brady doesn't want to acknowledge his success because that's when he'll be complacent. His favorite Super Bowl ring is his next ring, and that hunger will keep him atop the league- not just in this era, but for all of time.