Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady doesn’t need to look around much for motivation anymore.
Brady talked about what drives him to keep playing in the NFL, 21 years and counting, during a golf outing with James Corden, recorded for the Late Late Show With James Corden on June 24.
“It’s hard to walk away from something that you still feel like you can do and you want to do,” Brady told Corden. “So it’s not about proving it to others what you can do, it’s more about proving it to yourself. And I still feel like even though I’ll be 44 this year, I still have a chance to still prove it to myself that I can still do it at 44, because I really worked to a point where I can still do it at this age.”
Brady arguably has proven everything else. He came into the league as an unheralded sixth-round draft pick at No. 199 with the New England Patriots. He started off as a backup to longtime starter Drew Bledsoe but emerged as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback after Bledsoe’s injury in 2001.
Success never slowed down for Brady 19 years later with six more Super Bowl wins, nine more appearances, four more Super Bowl MVPs, three regular season MVPs, a plethora of passing records, and 263 wins. Even the quarterback many considered the greatest of all time before Brady, Joe Montana, admits Brady is the GOAT.
Does Brady See a GOAT in the Mirror?
While Brady has been considered the GOAT in football for some time, he doesn’t see it that way, he told Corden.
“Really. You neer sit and think, ‘at what I do, I’m the best,'” Corden asked.
“It’s like saying what do you like better — steak, fish, chicken,” Brady said.
“Steak,” Corden interjected.
“Yeah, me too,” Corden said. “I like steak.”
Brady has approached the GOAT nickname subject nickname more directly before. He told Michael Strahan as such in a 2019 interview.
“I don’t even like that,” Brady said. “It makes me cringe.”
“I guess I take compliments worse,” Brady added. “I wish you would say ‘you’re trash, you’re too old, you’re too slow, you can’t get it done no more,’ and I’ll tell, ‘thank you very much, I’ll go prove you wrong.'”
“You’re driven by criticism more than you’re driven by success,” Strahan asked.
“Yeah, probably,” Brady said.
Brady Talks Balance
Given the sheer number of Brady’s public appearances in the offseason and his side ventures beyond football, Brady keeps going at a torrid pace when not taking snaps for the Bucs.
“Finding the balance in that is what I’ve gotta find more often,” Brady told Corden.
Brady listed off time “for peace and quiet, a little more time for myself, more time to rest, and rejuvenate myself so I can continue to do the stuff I do.”
How Much Longer Will Brady Play?
If Brady strikes a greater balance in his life, could that mean he will play past his goal of 45 years of age?
He has two years left on his contract with the Bucs. General manager Jason Licht said during an interview on Rich Eisen Show last month that Brady is welcome to play for the Bucs until age 50. Brady doesn’t expect himself to do that at this time, however.
“50? That’s a long time. Even for me, that’s a long time,” Brady told USA Today’s Jori Epstein. “I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal.”