Tom Brady will always be the overlooked quarterback who was drafted 199th out of Michigan and is fueled by doubters even after winning his seventh Super Bowl.
Brady sat down with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan on Wednesday to talk about winning Super Bowl 55 in his first season with the Bucs, why he left New England after 20 years and throwing the Lombardi Trophy across the Hillsborough River during the team’s boat parade.
On responding to doubters, who said before the season he should retire rather than play for the Bucs:
“I was always kind of motivated by people that say, ‘You can’t do it. You’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, (you don’t have a) good enough arm.’ I’ve had a body of work over a period of time, so, you know, you just say, ‘Hey, (how) quickly you forget.’
”I think that’s a great part about football. It’s not really about what you did last year, it’s kind of what you’re going to do this year, so for me it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way.”
On what it was like leaving New England after 20 seasons and starting from scratch with the Bucs:
“I would say in a lot of ways really invigorating. When you’re with the Patriots, everyone would come to me and introduce themselves to me because I was kind of the mainstay. But I was the new guy for the first time. You know? And that was a really different experience.”
On playing for coach Bruce Arians:
“He’s a great motivator. He’s got a great feel for the team. He’s got a great pulse for what’s going on in the locker room. Great intuition. Great evaluation of talent. When you’re in one place for 20 years, you think that’s the only way. You go to a different place, you realize, ‘Wow, there’s a different way of doing things.’”
His keys to a successful marriage (he and model Gisele Bundchen have been married 12 years):
“I give (Gisele) a lot of credit for that. She’s the one that supports the family and at the end of the day makes a lot of sacrifices. She brings out the best version of me.”
On spending time with the family in the offseason:
“We have a place in Costa Rica we’ve been to. We were in the Middle East for a week and here at Disney (in Orlando). There’s a lot to see at Disney World. This is a great place. The kids, I mean, how they look forward to coming to Disney, it brings excitement out of you. Last night my son said, ‘Dad, that was the best day of my life,’ and he meant it.”
Brady, however, doesn’t care for the fast rides.
“I’m horrible. I go on the simplest ride and my head is spinning. My daughter did not want me to go with her. She said, ‘I just want to be with my friends.’ I said, “We’re already here. ... I’m like, ‘Just one ride? Can I sit next to you for one ride, please?’”
On what he wants his kids to learn from his success:
“Just try to keep them grounded and understand that A) they’re going to have to work hard and B) you know, mom and dad’s life is very unique in this world. I don’t want them to take those things for granted. I want them to make the impact in the world that they’re going to make, but they’re going make it in their way, too.”
On his longevity in the NFL (Brady, 43, is entering his 22nd season):
“For an athlete, your body is your asset. What I eat, what I drink, how I work out — all those things cumulatively add up. I started working with one of my great friends, (trainer) Alex Guerrero, who has changed my life in so many ways. We’ve been working together for a long time. Now it’s just become part of my life.”
On tossing the Lombardi Trophy across the Hillsborough River to tight end Cameron Brate during the team’s championship boat parade (and the aftereffects of “avocado tequila”):
“First of all, there was not a lot going through my mind at that point (of the trophy toss). That was not smart. For a couple reasons. One is, if we drop it, that’s a little bit of a problem. But the worst thing that could happen is the edges on that trophy are so sharp. Had those things clipped one of our boys on the other boat, it would’ve been an ugly parade.
“I had a lot of fun. I don’t get to do that. It’s hard to relax, and when you’re out in public, and there’s phones — not that I would do anything — but it still doesn’t feel comfortable for me, my personality, to have people filming. So I tend to stay at home more. I don’t go out a lot.”
On what more he has to prove:
“I don’t think proving it for me is the motivation. Like, I still want to play. Like, I’ve got a little sickness in me that still wants to throw a freaking spiral, you know what I mean? Also about football, once you stop, you can’t go back into it. I’ve got some more football in me. Not a lot, and I know that. But what I’ve got left, I’m going to give everything I got.”
• • •
Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter to get updates and analysis on the latest team and NFL news from Bucs beat writer Joey Knight.