Luke Falk poised to match up against his lifelong idol Tom Brady

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots takes the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots takes the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Assuming nothing changes between now and Sunday, Jets quarterback Luke Falk will face off against Tom Brady – the player he’s modeled his career after.

It’s been an unlikely and unfortunate series of mishaps for the New York Jets at quarterback this early in the 2019 season.

Second-year player Sam Darnold started in Week 1 but is out indefinitely now as he recovers from mononucleosis. Backup Trevor Siemian started in Darnold’s place Monday night, but was himself lost for the season after suffering ligament damage in his left ankle.

Gang Green will now turn to third-stringer Luke Falk, the former Washington State Cougar, who was on the Jets’ practice squad as recently as last Wednesday. Barring any last-minute trades or free agent signings, Falk will lead a New York offense that mustered just three points at home against the Browns into Foxborough on Sunday afternoon to face Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

The anticipated matchup will feature two quarterbacks both taken with the 199th pick in the NFL Draft – albeit 18 years apart.

The parallels between Falk and Brady don’t end there, though.

Falk has spent his entire adult life modeling his football career after Brady. According to WEEI’s Ryan Hanable, he first began conscientiously mimicking some of Brady’s habits and philosophies as a teenage quarterback in high school.

“Luke is driven and strives for perfection. Luke knows, and I think Tom Brady has been the greatest role model of that of anybody in the history of football,” said Mike Favero, Falk’s high school football coach. “Luke takes a very comprehensive approach to greatness, or trying to be excellent and perfect. He knows that it encompasses far more than just the game. He is trying to perfect the process, which includes comprehending things all the way from recovery to nutrition to mental toughness to strength-training to techniques, all of those things.”

Longtime followers of Tom Brady and the ‘Patriot Way’ will recognize certain hot-button words in that Favero quote about Falk. ‘Mental toughness,’ ‘nutrition,’ and ‘recovery’ are all important concepts to Brady… so much so that he’s promised to dedicate his post-NFL career to continuing his work on sports nutrition, pliability, and proper injury prevention techniques, all of which are fundamental to his own beliefs as a professional athlete.

According to Hanable, Falk’s obsession with Brady carried over to his collegiate career, where it was noticed and frequently commented on by his Cougar teammates. Offensive lineman Cole Madison described Falk as “ride or die Tom Brady, for sure,” and wide receiver Tavares Martin said that Falk “loves Tom Brady… every single thing about him, every little detail about him.”

Falk has also admitted that apart from watching film on many of Brady’s top performances, he also just habitually reviews game film in general because he knows that what Brady does in his own preparation for opponents.

Beyond watching tape, he also tries his best to follow Brady’s diet and nutritional recommendations as they’re outlined in the best-selling book, “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.” While Falk admits he’s not perfect in adhering to Brady’s well-known regimen of culinary strictness, he’s still done his best to follow the Patriot’s path for many years now.

Safe to say, Falk has read the book from cover-to-cover at this point in his career, especially since he’s now been in the NFL for a full season after spending four years under Mike Leach in Pullman.

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He now will have the opportunity to meet his lifelong idol face-to-face in Foxborough this Sunday.

And while that experience will surely cross off one of the top items on Falk’s bucket list, the Jets quarterback would do well to get all the star-struck feelings out of the way long before kickoff. He knows that his team cannot afford to sit idly by in awe-inspired reverence of the Patriots machine – if they do, the score will be 43-0 in favor of New England at the final whistle… if not by halftime.