RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been in the spotlight so long, it is hard to remember the young version now.
That kid was just 23, a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. There was no way to know he’d become one of the game’s great quarterbacks, no sense that a football genius had arrived. The hype that has greeted Robert Griffin III during his first two seasons with the Redskins? It spared Brady. He is thankful.
“I was pretty under the radar when I was a younger player,” Brady said. “I think the news cycle is different now and there is so much pressure for the young guys. The spotlight is so bright and these younger players have an opportunity to develop and there are less practices now and less time they can spend at the facility, so there are different challenges that they’re facing and the competition always finds a way to even itself out.”
Brady noted that he and Griffin chatted only briefly on the field the past two days. But he admires Washington’s quarterback and said on Tuesday he still sees a bright future for Griffin. But the bar Brady has set is impossible for almost any quarterback to match. His eerie efficiency was on display at a joint practice in Richmond on Tuesday. The Patriots again had their way with Washington’s defense, especially in red zone situations. Their quick-tempo offense made life miserable for Redskins linebackers and defensive backs.
“He’s poetry in motion,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “And, obviously, a Hall-of-Famer and the best of all time. So when you get a chance to watch him in a setting like this, it’s a great learning experience for everybody.”
Gruden was happy that his defense didn’t back down, that it gained experience against that quick tempo, that it’s communication was smooth during team drills. But there is plenty of work left to do. Brady knows the feeling. When he was a younger player, though, without the glare illuminating his every mistake, the margin for error was greater, the chances to recover more numerous. Griffin and his generation of quarterbacks don’t have that luxury.
“It was just quite a bit different when I was a young player,” Brady said. “I could probably get away with a lot of things that these younger guys can’t get away with. But fortunately I’m married and have three kids now and there’s nothing to do but go home and be a dad. But that’s the way it is, that’s life. It’s a good problem to have.”
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