Tom Brady’s Only Demands For Tampa Bay Upon Signing Proves He’s Built Different

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The opportunity to bring in the most successful football player of all-time to a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff series in 17 seasons is something Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht did not take lightly.

Tom Brady could have farted through the telephone to Tampa Bay’s top brass and they would have named the stadium after him. But he was as thoughtful and well-prepared for the 90 minute phone call as you’d expect from someone of Brady’s pedigree.

In a behind-the-scenes piece into the signing of Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud revealed Brady interviewed Arians and Licht as much as they did him.

His preparation, as usual, was next level. He knew all about Arians’ offense and was eager to operate it. He could recite, by position, the list of the Bucs’ offensive weapons. He was intrigued by the notion of having two Pro Bowl receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. He didn’t ask about them as players. He wanted to know, “Are they good guys?’’

In the initial phone conversation last Wednesday, Brady never talked about money, and it was reportedly last on his list of priorities that his agent, Donald Yee, ironed out the following Monday.

Brady’s only request to a doting franchise was a minor one.

Brady never asked for control of the offense. He knew that Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and special assistant Tom Moore would collaborate with him on game plans. He didn’t ask for any specific players to join him. He didn’t even ask to wear No. 12, which for the moment belongs to Godwin.

In fact, there was only one request Brady had after he had signed: He wanted the phone numbers of all his new Bucs teammates.

Brady was famous in New England for making everyone in the organization feel like they were fighting for the same goal—rookies, practice players, undrafted guys, everyone. He approached every new teammate saying the same four words: “Hi, I’m Tom Brady.”

He’ll have to do that 100 times over in Tampa.

[h/t Tampa Bay Times]

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Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.