By: Ryan Cooley
I thought I would be writing something like this when Brady decided to hang up his cleats for good. However, he has flipped to a new chapter in his football career, something many fans never thought would happen. As a Patriots fan, it is difficult to watch him walk away from New England and put on another team’s uniform.
With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick selected a 6’4 scrawny QB out of Michigan. Most didn’t have him making out of training camp. The Patriots ended up holding onto three QBs that year, something many teams do not do.
He worked his way to be Drew Bledsoe’s backup in his second season. During week two, Bledsoe got hit and suffered a sheared blood vessel in his chest, which almost killed him. The Patriots were then forced to rely upon a 24-year-old, sixth-round draft pick to lead their team. What happened next was improbable; they began to win. The Patriots went on to win their division and defeat the “Greatest Show on Turf” in the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl 36.
In his time with New England, he has thrown for 74,571 yards and 541 passing TDs. Any Patriots fan knows that the greatest thing about Brady is his determination and ability to win games, no matter what. In 326 games, he managed 45 fourth-quarter comebacks and 58 game-winning drives.
Words cannot describe what Brady means to the Patriots and their fans. He helped start a culture and what would be the greatest dynasty in NFL history. He led them to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them, and all six coming with a game-winning drive.
Brady also had a huge impact off the field, supporting charities like Best Buddies International, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Entertainment Industry Foundation, and KaBOOM!.
Rumors are swirling about who Tom’s replacement will be. It is impossible to “replace” someone of Brady’s magnitude. Whoever they bring in will need to write their own story and not focus on following in the footsteps of the greatest QB of all time.
I wish Brady nothing but success in Tampa Bay. I believe I speak for all Patriots fans when I say thank you. Thank you for all that you have done for this organization. No one will forget the legacy you have cemented here.