by Andy Goddard
Another season has past and yet another Lombardi trophy has been taken back to New
England. When the 2019 season starts Tom Brady will be 42 years old, with the Patriots
quarterback stating that he wants to play until he is 45 leading to that all-time favourite question, will the infamous ‘fall from the cliff’ finally happen?
Max Kellerman thought it would happen three years ago and he doesn’t appear to be backing down. It was July 2016 when Kellerman, whilst appearing as the co-host on ESPN’s First Take, said of Brady, ‘He’s going to fall off a cliff. Tom Brady is going to be a bum in short order’.
How do you motivate a man that has won it all numerous times and achieved everything? Well, Kellerman gave Brady and the Patriots all the motivation they needed and Tom Terrific is still using it today.
During an off season workout in June 2019, Brady posted a picture on his Instagram story showing at 41 years old, he is still throwing the ball at 61mph! Included on this post were the words, ‘He’s gonna fall off a cliff’ with a laughing emoji.
A direct reference back to Kellerman who seems to predict that every year Brady will begin to show his age. I suppose he has to be right eventually! Doesn’t he?
When you look at this stat compared to other quarterbacks, it is even more impressive. For reference, Josh Allen holds the NFL scouting combine record at 62mph. Check out every QB’s combine throw velocity dince 2008 here:
Now without knowing the context of the throw it is hard to really judge just how good this stat is. After all Patrick Mahomes, whilst in his early 20’s, also hit 62mph on a visit to the NFL Network in 2017 but the throw was well off target.
But, whatever the outcome of the throw was, the instagram post shows more to Brady’s mindset than the skill and power attached to the throw. Brady is still holding a
grudge and using whatever he can to motivate him to compete. Brady was once asked, which Super Bowl ring is your favourite? His reply, ‘the next one!’
Brady has been driven to prove people wrong since draft day. Drafted at 199 overall in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Every team, including the Patriots, passed on him numerous times. In fact, six quarterbacks where taken before Brady and some never played a single snap in the NFL.
Brady finds motivation in everything and everyone. Since Kellerman made the ‘cliff’ comments in 2016, the six time Super Bowl champions stats have been impressive, even by Brady’s standards. In fact the GOAT seems to be maturing like a fine wine and just keeps getting better with age.
Tom Brady’s regular season stats by age:
– In his 20’s: 96 games, 70 wins 24 losses, 61.9 comp%, 21,564 yards, 147 TD’s, 78 INT.
– In his 30’s: 141 games, 113 wins 28 losses, 64.9 comp%, 40,018 yds, 309 TD’s, 74 INT.
– In his 40’s: 32 games, 24 wins 8 losses, 66 comp%, 8,932 yards, 61 TD’s, 19 INT.
However, Kellerman’s distain of Brady is well known. In January 2019, before the start of
the playoffs, Kellerman took another swipe at Brady by declaring that, ‘I’d rather have all
other QB’s in the AFC not named Tom Brady in these playoffs right now’
Who went on to win the Super Bowl? A certain Tom Brady!
After beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game in January 2019, Kellerman stated that, ‘Brady was lucky’. He also went on to say, ‘is Brady the best
quarterback in the NFL? He wasn’t even the best quarterback in the game’
This came after the Patriots had gone into Kansas City as the underdogs and won the game 37-31. An overtime drive, led by Brady, was finished off with a Rex Burkhead touchdown run. During this drive, Brady converted three 3rd and long plays to keep the drive alive and ultimately take his team back to the Super Bowl for a third straight year.
Since Brady’s post, Kellerman has hit back, this time claiming that Brady is nothing more
than a game manager. The ESPN commentator believes that the brilliance of coach Bill
Belichick and the quarterback friendly rules have masked Brady’s regression.
Whilst there is no doubt that Brady may have slowed down from the
days when he had a receiving core that included the great Randy Moss and he threw for
50 touchdowns in a season, Brady is still winning. The fact that the New England Patriots
have been to three Super Bowls in a row and seem to be participating in the AFC
Championship Game every year shows that he hasn’t quite become Blake Bortles!
It would appear however that Max Kellerman seems to be slightly confused. On January
20th 2019, in a broadcast of ESPN’s First Take, he agreed with a statement made by
Patriots owner Robert Kraft that Brady was definitely the greatest player of all time!
Is Kellerman a secret Patriots fan and just looking to provide that extra motivation for Brady and co? He did, however, lean on the fact that Brady has benefitted from playing under Bill Belichick. The argument between Brady and Belichick, and would one have been as successful without the other, is another great discussion.
Brady is still performing at an exceptionally high level, still winning games and could have one of the best receiving groups in the NFL next season (in my opinion, and, if Josh Gordon returns) alongside a dominant run game. Is it a loathing of Brady and the Patriots or is Kellerman just unable to admit that maybe he was wrong in
Either way, Brady can thank Kellerman for providing that extra motivation that
drives him on every year. With the latest soundbites from Kellerman, the whole of the NFL better be wary of Brady and his Patriots yet again as the edge of the cliff still appears to be far in the distance!