Perhaps no player in NFL history is better at finding self-motivation than Tom Brady. It's what's kept him driven to greatness going into his 23rd NFL season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is now force-feeding that motivation to his new offensive line. Brady said Monday on the first episode of the second season of SiriusXM's Let's Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray that he's using all the negative questions about his O-line to fuel his teammates.
"I've showed it to them and used it as motivation," Brady said. "Every time someone says they suck, and they can't do anything, I've tried to show it to them. And say, 'this is what they're all saying about you. What do you guys think? What are you going to do about it?' And make sure they know what everyone's saying. I think that's important. I think I've always used little different spites as motivation for me. And I'm a really motivated person. But it always helps when someone says something that's not flattering."
TB12 said he knows there will be growing pains with his new offensive line.
"It's gonna be a challenge," he said. "I'd definitely say that's every team's challenge at different times in the year. You deal with injuries early, you deal with injuries late, you deal with them all year. We lost Alex Cappa to the Bengals. We lost Ali Marpet, who was a great player, to retirement. And then Ryan got hurt in training camp. So we got Shaq Mason, who I love him to death. I've played with him a long time. I know what he's all about.
"Robert Hainsey from Notre Dame earned the respect of his teammates with his work ethic and him showing up every day last year even though he wasn't playing to be prepared, and he's gonna step in and try to do a great job. And we got a left guard that's battling every day. Luke (Goedeke) has done a great job for us in training camp. We drafted him to come in here and play and we'll see if he can get in there and be prepared to go do a great job. But it's gonna be like all players, you know, no one makes every, I certainly don't make every throw great. I don't make every read great. I've thrown plenty of interceptions. You can't expect these young tight ends or young running backs or young linemen to get everything right because they're going up against a lot of great players and those great players are gonna challenge them."
For Brady, the key will be the unit jelling as the season progresses, so by December, whoever is left standing will be playing their best ball as the postseason approaches.
"I'm expecting great things from our whole unit," he said. "I think they've learned over the years. I think we're more on the same page every year. And I expect them to go out there and they got a lot of pride, they wanna work hard, they wanna do the right thing. They're well-coached. We're gonna be in a position with the O-line where I hope they take it to heart all the things that people have said about them, which is not always the most flattering things. But they gotta go out there and they gotta, again, like all of us we gotta go out there and earn it and prove people right or prove them wrong."
The offensive line is the biggest question on a talented Bucs roster. And it's an issue that could threaten to capsize the entire ship if they consistently spring leaks that get Brady pummeled.
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