While the New England Patriots’ middling roster contributed to their shortcomings last season, it wasn’t exactly a coincidence that they endured their worst campaign in exactly two decades the offseason after Tom Brady departed in free agency.
Not only was Brady crucial to the Patriots’ offense, but he was also a pillar for their culture and locker room morale.
The three-time MVP treated every practice like a playoff game and his teammates evidently followed in the footsteps of this perfectionist mindset.
Unfortunately for fans, they’ll never know first-hand what Brady was like behind the scenes at practice. All they have in terms of insight into his role are stories from beat writers and teammates.
Luckily for them, however, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer recently opened up on how indispensable Brady was on the practice field.
Buckle up, folks, because Meyer went into great detail about the former Patriots quarterback’s obsession with having a competitive edge.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer gushed over Tom Brady’s approach to practice and how important he was to the Patriots’ offense.
The following quote is a mouthful, but we simply couldn’t justify cutting it short. After all, it fully encapsulates what makes Brady such a great leader of men.
To avoid spoiling anything, let’s just say that Meyer’s astonishment started by watching the seven-time champion celebrating a mini-camp touchdown like he had just added another ring to his collection.
“The last day of mini-camp, they’re in shorts, helmets, and they’re doing a two-minute drill,” Meyer told Peter King of Pro Football Talk. “And Tom Brady is treating it like it’s the Super Bowl. He goes down and he scores with two seconds left to win that scrimmage. Ran around the field like a child—that’s how competitive he is.”
“I went back immediately to my quarterbacks and shared with them that I just watched the greatest of all time, and the way you’re supposed to practice, the way you’re supposed to provide energy to the rest of your team and the way you lead your team.”
“And the way I went into the offensive meetings with Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady and Brady’s actually the one who had the clicker in his hand. It was amazing. He was in there running the film. He had the offensive line sitting there, running backs, receivers, and Brady was running the clicker and watching practice film, dissecting the plays with the offense. Think about that for a minute. You can say he throws a great pass. But people that really understand the game—there’s much more than that that makes him the best of all time.”
For any fans wondering why Bill Belichick wasn’t mentioned here, that’s because he was busy educating (and probably eviscerating) his defense over mistakes they’d made in practice.
Getting back to the offense, Meyer’s comments really make it seem like Brady had more of a voice during film reviews than offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, which speaks volumes.
We always knew Brady embodied a drill sergeant leading up to games, but we’ll put our hands up and admit that we never acknowledged the possibility of him leading film dissection sessions.
As Meyer touched on, it takes more than throwing a perfect spiral and having poise in a collapsing pocket to become the greatest of all time, and Brady has quite literally taken preparation to a level we haven’t seen before from a player in the history of the NFL.