Tom Brady: Behind the facemask

Photo courtesy of Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated

The greatness that is Tom Brady can be seen both on and off the field. He is the man who has everything but stays hungry like he has everything to lose. Unlike many of the greats to ever play in the NFL, Brady keeps to himself and does not act like your typical superstar. This is why Patriots nation immediately fell in love with employee #12.

Every article, interview, feature, etc. all paint the picture of Tom Brady as a super competitive, hard working, relentless, and dynamic individual. However, only a select "bunch" know the full story about Tom Terrific.

Greg Bishop of "The Monday Morning Quarterback" was able to learn about what makes Brady tick from former teammates, coaches, and others near and dear to Mr. Brady.

Starting at the top, Brady managed to leave a lasting first impression on his new boss. Kraft often recalls the time when he met his sixth round pick and he made the boldest prediction.

"I'm the best decision this organization has ever made".

Imagine how many times an owner hears that in their lifetime. This kind of ego certainly would make sense if it was coming from a first or maybe even second round pick. You must have a serious case of testicular fortitude if you are a sixth round draft pick making such a bold prediction. Don't know about you, but I am sure glad he lived up to his end of the bargain!

Coaches often can tell when they have something truly special on their hands. Former Patriot quarterbacks coach and now current Houston Texans head coach, Bill O'Brien, tells the story of how Brady would hate to lose to backup QB's during practice drills.

He viewed practice like a game. He was competitive in walk-throughs. I remember we used to do a bucket toss on Fridays, in the end zone, to work on the fade ball. It was always a competition between him and Brian Hoyer or him and Matt Cassel or Ryan Mallett. If he didn’t win that day, he was not happy. You couldn’t talk to him for a bit.

The greatness of Tom Brady as a player just doesn't stop with ownership and the coaching staff. His magnetic personality and work ethic has been seen as contagious to his teammates, both former and current.

Bryan Hoyer, current Browns quarterback and former Patriots backup, attributes some of his success to Brady. Despite being caught up in the Johnny Manziel circus, Hoyer managed to earn the starting job and quickly turned the Browns into playoff contenders. Hoyer held on to the advice Brady gave him:

Be ready for your opportunity

Many Brady fans often see him as some sort of super hero. However, former teammates like Troy Brown, Christian Fauria, and more saw the greatness within. However after it was all said and done, they saw him as a normal person. Brown should proclaim himself as an off the field Brady expert, after being asked so many times. Brady's former wide receiver described the type of guy Brady is when he is away from the huddle:

You don’t really see him like Peyton Manning, all up in all those commercials. You don’t see him out. He’s always giving the politically correct answer. So people always want to know what he’s really like. Does he have a sense of humor? I tell them what you see right there, that’s Tom. He’s a regular dude.

The quotes and stories featured in Bishop's article often go overlooked, especially whenever the Brady vs. Manning debate pops up. Personally, I would want Tom by my side on and off the field. Who wouldn't want someone as awesome as Tom Brady as a teammate and friend? You can bet your butt that #12 will push you to become great. I honestly can't say that Manning would do the same. You can keep the records Peyton, I will take Tom Terrific 10 out of 10 times.

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