Tom Brady on playing season amid pandemic: ‘Like football for junkies’

Tom Brady Super Bowl LV
Tom Brady picked up his fifth Super Bowl MVP honors in February.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady, speaking on just two hours of sleep after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl triumph, said on Monday the COVID-19 restrictions in place during the NFL season ultimately provided him with a breeding ground for excellence.

Given the many protocols in place to limit the spread of the virus, Brady took full advantage of the opportunity and ramped up his already tireless work ethic and insatiable dedication to sharpening his craft.

“In a unique way it was kind of like, with the coronavirus situation and all the protocols, it was really like football for junkies,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion said on a video news conference.

“There was not really a lot of other things to do other than show up to work and play football.”

The 43-year-old Brady joined the Buccaneers last March after 20 years and six Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots but had little time to get to know his new teammates before the season began last September.

Brady’s transition to a new team was not made any easier given the absence of an NFL preseason schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the extra time to study the Bucs’ playbook paid off.

A laser-focused Brady, already widely considered to be the greatest quarterback of all time, turned around the Buccaneers franchise and led them to their first Super Bowl appearance since the team won their maiden title in January 2003.

In Super Bowl LV, Brady completed 21-of-29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns on his way to his fifth Super Bowl MVP title.

“Normally there is a lot of other things that go along with playing football,” said Brady. “So if you love football, this was the year to be a player in the NFL because that’s all it was. It was like football camp with all your buddies year-round so I really enjoyed that part.”

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