I'm really beginning to think Tom Brady is from another world. We've got to know our favorite quarterback a bit better recently. We've learned what he eats, that he doesn't drink coffee, he's in bed by 9:00 p.m. almost every night... And now we're finding out he's ridiculously intense even in a game of catch.
There was a fun article posted in The Wall Street Journal earlier this week about Brady playing catch with current and former teammates. Apparently, he takes games of catch so seriously to the point where he'll get angry at himself if he doesn't like a throw he makes.
Here's a snippet from the article that chronicles Brandon LaFell's first experience playing catch with Brady.
Brandon LaFell was only two weeks into his first offseason workout period with the Patriots last summer when Brady approached him and asked: “Catch with me a few times?” LaFell jumped at the opportunity and readied himself for a simple game of catch with his new quarterback.
“We’re five yards apart, in the locker room, so I’m thinking this will be some soft-touch stuff,” LaFell said. “Then he starts doing his footwork, flicking his hips, just zipping the ball, all in the locker room.”
LaFell was stunned. “I’m just looking around saying: ‘Why didn’t anyone warn me about this?’” he said, adding that he wasn’t wearing gloves to soften the speed of Brady’s fastballs. “That’s when I knew this was a whole different approach.”
Even though it's just a game of catch, you've got to admire Brady's desire to keep getting better at age 38.
If Brady's passes are off by even an inch, he gets angry. Apparently, he also carries an entourage with him for these games of catch.
Nearly everyone who has played catch with Brady has a story. Last summer, Brady called Tony Gonzalez, a 14-time Pro Bowl tight end, out of nowhere “to have a catch.”
Gonzalez, like most people, assumed it would be a straightforward workout. When he arrived on a college campus in California, Brady was there with “a slew of people” including his throwing coach, former major league pitcher Tom House, nutritionists and “all of the things that make the Brady machine,” said Gonzalez, who is now an analyst with CBS Sports. House declined to comment.
Brady proceeded to deliver his signature pinpoint passes to Gonzalez. But in between throws, Brady grew more and more frustrated if his pass missed its target by even an inch.
After one pass hit Gonzalez squarely in the chest, Brady chided himself for not getting the ball a little further in front of his target. Gonzalez was confused—the pass was perfect. But Brady explained that if the ball had been a foot and a half in front of the receiver’s body, it would mean an extra three yards gained after the catch. (To be clear, this was in the dead of summer, with no defenders around and months before any meaningful games.)
“I joked ‘Tom, if you’d seen some of the quarterbacks I played with, you’d know I’m just glad you got it to me,’” Gonzalez said. “I was blown away.”
How can you not love this guy?
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