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Lane: Why I’m getting awfully sick of Tom Brady

The finger-pointing ahead of Sunday’s matchup at Gillette Stadium needs to end.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Let me preface this by saying I consider myself lucky that, in the history of the world, I was somehow born at a time that I got to watch Tom Brady play football in Foxborough for 20 years. He gave me almost all of my favorite sports memories, and nothing will ever change that. I shouldn’t have to give that disclaimer, but I do, because some people are not going to like what I have to say: I’m getting awfully sick of Tom Brady.

Forget about the fact that he has started doing a million commercials and is now plastered all over every television, hawking everything from cell phones to foot-long subs. I don’t care about that — go get that sponsorship money. What I care about is that he and his circle can’t stop talking about the New England Patriots. I know that the majority of comments haven’t come directly from him, but there’s a reason they’re coming out now, and it’s because he’s given the OK to do it.

Honestly, whining about not getting the perks of being a 20-year veteran when your whole legacy is defined by you never taking a day off is dumb. His father and Alex Guerrero are out here bad-mouthing the Patriots, which feels very high school. You remember the deal, someone breaks up with you, and your friend group goes telling everyone how much they hated being with you and how you were never right for them in the first place. Make no mistake about it, regardless of what the stories say, the Patriots could’ve kept Brady with a Drew Brees-like deal, and they didn’t do it. We can argue about whether or not Bill Belichick made the best decision, but, make no mistake, as I wrote last year, he was the one who made the decision.

Now all the stories are about how Brady was responsible for winning all those Super Bowls and was dragged down by Belichick. Imagine thinking that the QB was so good that he made nine Super Bowls despite the head coach? Ask the people around the Green Bay Packers how that goes. I’m sure you’re thinking that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won just seven games in 2019 and then won the Super Bowl in 2020. How could that be possible if it wasn’t all about Brady? Tampa had one of the most talented rosters in the NFL before Brady got there. In 2019, Jameis Winston threw 30 interceptions (seven of which were returned for TDs, seven!) and they turned the ball over another 11 times, making 41 for the season. Compare that to last year when they turned the ball over only 17 times all season. That means they had 1.5 less turnovers per game last season. Your team instantly gets better when that happens, never mind the fact that they added Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Leonard Fournette and a few defensive pieces.

I bring up Tampa Bay because that is the catalyst for this debate. If Brady had gone to a team that struggled and either missed or was bounced early from the playoffs, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But, because he took a team from outside of the playoffs to the Super Bowl in one season, everyone now points to that to say that Brady was the reason for the success in New England. That’s another discussion for another day (probably tomorrow’s article), but the point is that they are both responsible for the success we’ve seen. To try to make the argument that Brady would’ve done better without Belichick is complete insanity. Six Super Bowl wins, nine Super Bowl appearances and 14 AFC title games don’t happen because of one player. Saying that it does is foolish and incorrect. All you need to do is ask the fans in Green Bay, New Orleans, or San Diego to see that an elite QB doesn’t guarantee anything, never mind bi-annual Super Bowl appearances.

Tom Brady is the greatest football player of all time, there should be no doubt about that, but the non-stop talk about him, and now the whining by his camp, is becoming insufferable. That is sure to become a deafening crescendo as we approach the game Sunday night. A reminder that, regardless of the noise, he is no longer the QB in New England. Listening to all the stories about why he left from people who are loyal to Brady seems counterproductive. Let’s instead try to enjoy this game and focus on how Mac Jones does this week. He might not have the brand name, but he’s looked pretty good so far. In fact, he’s looked better than Tom did in his first three games. It’s a long season, and while I’m sure there are many feelings that we will all have this week, please remember at the end of the day it’s a Week 4 non-conference game. Let’s try not to use this as the measuring stick for Jones, Brady or Belichick.

Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast. Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats