Tom Brady has a message for his critics.
While speaking on his Let’s Go! podcast with Jim Gray on Monday, January 2, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback responded to the critics who had urged him to stay retired amid his struggles this season.
Via Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times:
“I know people (say), ‘Tom you should’ve retired. You should’ve done this or done that,’” Brady said. “That’s okay. People can have a lot of feelings about those or opinions and so forth. But I think for me, there’s always gratification when you make this commitment and you have a group of individuals that do the same and you see something pay off. That’s what life is about. A lot resilience and overcoming different obstacles over the course of the year and ultimately coming together for a common goal.”
Buccaneers Have Struggled En Route to Division Title
Brady initially retired after the conclusion of the 2021 season on February 1. However, he came out of retirement shortly after, announcing his return on March 13.
While Brady’s individual play has remained strong — he leads the NFL in completions and ranks second in passing yards — the season has been up and down as far as team play. However, despite the Buccaneers’ struggles, they’ve clinched a spot in the playoffs after winning the NFC South with an 8-8 record.
Tampa Bay faced the prospect of entering the final week of the season with their playoff destiny out of their hands. Had they lost to the Panthers — they were trailing 14-0 versus Carolina in the first half — Carolina would have clinched the division with a win in Week 18 over the New Orleans Saints.
“We’ve battled through a lot of tough things this year,” Brady said after the Buccaneers’ division-clinching win over the Panthers. “Happy to win the division. It’s always tough to do it. NFL games are tough to win and we always figure out a way to keep them somehow exciting. I wish they wouldn’t be as exciting as we made them.”
Brady once again spoke of the importance of zoning out what others have to say while focusing on what’s between your own ears.
“I learned this awhile ago,” he said on the podcast. “There’s a lot of things that are said outside what’s between your ears. Obviously, what’s between your ears and what you tell yourself is the important thing. I think people said earlier this year, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look like he’s having fun and he doesn’t want to be out there and he doesn’t want to play.’ … What’s between my ears is more important than that.”
Buccaneers Will Either Face Eagles or Cowboys in Playoffs
With the Buccaneers guaranteed to host a home playoff game during wild card weekend as the No. 4 seed in the NFC playoffs, they’ll learn who their opponent is following Week 18.
That’s because the No. 1 seed and the NFC East champions has yet to be determined. If the Philadelphia Eagles win their game over the New York Giants, they’ll be the No. 1 seed and the division champs. If the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Washington Commanders and the Eagles lose, they’ll be the No. 1 seed and the division champs.
In other words, Tampa Bay will either face the Eagles or the Cowboys during the first week of the playoffs.