What Makes Tom Brady Great

September 30th, 2021

Tom Brady and motivation.

Joe doesn’t know about you, but Joe was fried from the hype of Tom Brady playing against Bill Belicheat before the Bucs even played the Rams.

That’s why on this site you haven’t seen a whole lot about Brady vs. Belicheat, though it is impossible to ignore.

This Brady-Belicheat angle really got stoked this week when a bombshell book typed by Seth Wickersham of BSPN hit bookstores.

Nice timing.

In the book, Wickersham claims all sorts of stuff going on within the Patriots organization like creepy Bob Kraft calling Belicheat an “arsehole” and Belicheat nearly getting into a fistfight with Eric Mangini, to Bill O’Brien actively trying to get fired by the Texans because he thought he would be named coach-in-waiting with New England.

In the middle of all this craziness is Brady, who year by year grew weary of the Belicheat way and he wanted out.

We know how that all ended (thank goodness).

But what interested Joe is in the BSPN excerpt of the book was a study that Belicheat ordered trying to find out what motivated Brady to play at peak level.

(Joe has learned since starting this here site back in 2008 that the NFL, as well as individual teams, spend millions and millions of dollars annually trying to find out the best ways to reach players and the best way for them to absorb information and retain it, and what makes them tick, etc. For example, the NFL concluded following an exhaustive study a few years ago the best way to teach players is to always use screens of some sort because the new generation lived its entire lives learning via screens. Blackboards and whiteboards are tools of ancient history, and if you want to see a player fail, stubborn coaches will use whiteboards like 20th century teachers. Never forget that at the end of the day, NFL suits consider players investments, not projects or pupils.)

Here is what Belicheat learned what drove Brady, per Wickersham by way of BSPN,

… Jordan, Bryant, Woods and Brady were interviewed, among others. The study revealed that while the motivations of the rest of the elite athletes centered around the themes of rage and manufactured conflict, Brady was different. He felt most at the peak of his powers “not when he was measuring the size of the chip on his shoulder, but when he was in a loving and supportive environment,” Wickersham writes.

Now Joe will take a small step back here to set the table for his conclusion. Joe catches a lot of flack from folks away from and at One Buc Palace for being too cynical and reading between the lines of what is said.

Well, that’s because teams if not players always use press conferences in a calculated way (between the lines) to get a message out. Always.

It may not be an entire press conference, it may be only one answer. But every savvy coach, suit and player will at some point in a press availability say something calculated or rehearsed with an end-goal in mind.

Some of the greatest coaches in sports history were this way. Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells and Whitey Herzog often used the Fourth Estate to get a desired message out. Bobby Knight’s entire press conferences were nothing but a calculated screed/attempts at humor. Joe could go on. And yes, Brady is calculated as can be (remember, he admitted 90 percent of what he says in press conferences is nonsense).

Which brings Joe to Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians.

Remember at the combine in Indianapolis in 2020, when Joe asked to name quarterback he would call if he could pick up the phone immediately before free agency opened, Arians responded, “Tom Brady.”

Now it is starting to look like that was a calculated move, as well. Joe is confident the Bucs knew about this motivational study by the Belicheats and Arians decided to fire the first shot (even if it technically violated NFL tampering rules), using reporters to get the word out to Brady that the Bucs really wanted him and he was all they needed to make the Bucs a winner.

And isn’t it obvious that the Bucs organization, from Team Glazer on down to the landscapers, have fully embraced Brady and his ways and treated him like the king he is? All but made him a shot-caller?

Shoot, it is clear Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht at least keeps Brady in the loop on transactions. Why else would Brady have turned into a recruiter? And Arians had Brady scouting college receivers last offseason.

Brady then goes out in 2020 playing in his new, welcoming environment, and has one of the best years of his career (at 43) and wins his seventh ring.

No, Joe doesn’t believe in coincidences.

14 Responses to “What Makes Tom Brady Great”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    There’s no recipe for greatness but Pete will give you mere mortals a look into his world. The illuminati protects you once you’re there.

  2. Youngbucs Says:

    Shouldn’t bill have all the answers he developed Brady right? FOH Brady would have been Brady anywhere he went. Same for Jordan and other greats! Brady’s hard work determination and big moment abilities we’re all there before the nfl.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This sounds a bit sappy…. but, what makes Tom Brady great is love…..Love of the game, love ot his teamates, love of his coaches….and love of himself. He simply must perform for those he loves.
    He stopped loving it in NE but found it in Tampa.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow! I get that you don’t believe in coincidences Joe, but not everything that happens in this world is calculated either. Sometimes sh1t happens, and we deal with it.

    And why believe Brady when he says that 90% of what he says in press conferences, etc is nonsense? That would mean that he’s only telling the truth 10% of the time … and you just chose to believe him when he made the 90% nonsense statement. Maybe THAT was the BS part? Except Brady didn’t make that statement during a press conference. –Joe Sure has gotten a lot of traction, hasn’t it. Kept people talking, and people doubting what’s real vs BS in what Tom Brady says. Maybe that’s his defense mechanism with the media in general?

    Ultimately, the only thing that’s really important is how players perform on the field. Tom Brady accomplished something on the field that’d never been done before. He’s proved that even at age 43 he’s an excellent Field General and can lead a team to the promised land. I don’t blame Bill Belichek for wanting to know what makes him tick.

  5. lambeau Says:

    It’s complicated. I do agree it’s a more supportive environment, but there is conflict. BA loves the long ball on 3rd and 1, and Brady will check down for the first down rather than thrown a 50% jump ball to Evans.

  6. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Tampa, now that sounds sappy. What makes someone who they are is based around their life experiences. He admires the best and emulates their winning qualities. He thrives on those who disrespect him, he may even be a little insecure and us fueled by the goal to achieve. He has no time for loosers, even his wife is one of the best in her field. Other than the Biston media he has always been underrated nationally up until this season he is finally getting the media respect he deserves. Break the passing record, season TD record, beat up on Belichick, take Bucs back to SB then drop the mic.

  7. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “…He felt most at the peak of his powers “not when he was measuring the size of the chip on his shoulder, but when he was in a loving and supportive environment…”.

    @DR, my friend, while I usually love your posts, I do not understand how you would even question this statement. First, I am with Joe – I don’t believe in coincidence – things happen for a reason. Also, IMO, every person is a product of their foundation/environment. Lets look at this from the opposite angle. If you are in a difficult, unappreciated, or even a toxic environment – who excels in that?!

    Maybe its me. I am going through a divorce. When things were good, I could run thru a f…ing wall. Now I struggle to get thru a day. So I am in the category of TBBF, its about love and appreciation. The most powerful force there is…

  8. Hodad Says:

    Believe half of what you see, and none of what you read. It’s hard to sell a book, especially a boring one. needless to say I ain’t buying the book.

  9. BucsCoolade Says:

    Any article that gives too much face time to Dickerscam book needs a rewrite. Click bait writers are just whores for the juice. Its fraud mostly and hes probly ending up in court defending his non sources and speculation presented as history.

    Belichick and Charlie Weis developed brady thru 3 super bowls in his first 4 years on the field. He started as a skinny slow 6th rounder. His desire and competitive nature meshed perfectly in belichick disciplined structure and game management.

    Bradys greatness in later years has morphed into body management and understanding his craft in every aspect. Such as..

    Throwing mechanics. Arm strength
    Footwork, movement
    Studying film and defense
    Making smart decisions
    Being cool under pressure, big moments
    Leadership thru example
    Play calling at the line.
    Being tough against injury
    Sensing pressure in the pocket

    Then put it all together with 52 other guys. Its cool and fun to watch..

  10. Buczilla Says:

    Awesome article and Brady is easily one of the best things to happen to our team. Last Sunday sucked donkey balls (can I say that here? Lol), but there is a ton of football left. We need JPP back and healthy in the worst way though.

  11. Oneilbuc Says:

    I really hate how people hate on Belichick !! If Brady would have went to the Arizona Cardinals Brady would have been out of football back then. If he would have went to Washington he would be on ESPN or Fox sports. It all depends on what team a quarterback is drafted to and the coach. Billchick is the greatest coach of all times. Brady didn’t sack no quarterback or made 1 tackle or caught 1 interception . Billchick kept Brady a top 5 scoring defense that’s why they never blew no team out in their superbowl games !!! Facts !! And I don’t know why these so call bucs fan talking bad about Billchick because he never coached the bucs and when Brady retire he’s going to retire a Patriot not a buc . That’s like Lynch , Sapp !!

  12. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    “He felt most at the peak of his powers “not when he was measuring the size of the chip on his shoulder, but when he was in a loving and supportive environment,” Wickersham writes.”

    Jesus commands us to love one another. Apparently he is most of the way there. Tom could bring his self-admitted witch out of the belly of the beast, and the two of them could be good messengers for the One True God.

  13. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Medicated Pete Says:
    “The illuminati protects you once you’re there.”

    If you love God, you do not need the illuminati.

  14. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    “This sounds a bit sappy…”

    Not sappy.