You may think that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. However, Tom Brady disagrees with you.
We know this, because ESPN’s Ian O’Connor asked Brady if he felt that winning his fifth ring, putting him one past his childhood idol Joe Montana, made him the best QB ever.
Brady didn’t exactly see it that way.
“I don’t agree with that and I’ll tell you why,” Brady said. “I know myself as a player. I’m really a product of what I’ve been around, who I was coached by, what I played against, in the era I played in. I really believe if a lot of people were in my shoes they could accomplish the same kinds of things. So I’ve been very fortunate.”
Of course, a lot of people have been in Brady’s shoes, and no one has accomplished anything even close to what he has done. Perhaps the best way of illustrating Brady’s singular greatness lies with looking at his head coach. Bill Belichick had a losing record as a head coach before Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Since then, Belichick has become the fourth all-time winningest head coach, and seventh all-time in terms of winning percentage.
Yes, Belichick spent nearly all of his pre-Brady years coaching for a Browns organization in disarray that would soon move to Baltimore to become the Ravens. And yes, Robert Kraft is a better owner than Art Modell. However, Belichick only amassed the grand total of one postseason victory prior to Brady’s arrival. Since then, with Brady at the helm, he’s won 25.
Belichick is a tremendous coach, and in the conversation for the greatest ever. But, the fact remains that no one had him in that conversation before Brady.
Brady’s remarks about “being a product” of what he’s been around also ring true. All quarterbacks are products of their environment to some extent. Though, Brady is one of those rare breed QB’s where you could argue his environment is every bit as much the product of him, as he is of it.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn