Tom Brady asked who he sees as his successor in the NFL

tom brady patrick mahomes
Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes after the Patriots-Chiefs game in 2019. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

As Tom Brady looks back on his 21-year NFL career, which included an unprecedented seven Super Bowl victories, he has reason to believe that no one can quite replicate his remarkable story.

But on a recent episode of Let’s Go!, when asked about “the next Tom,” his name was “Next Tom.” During the podcast, the former Patriot had a clear choice in mind.

The question was posed to him by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who appeared as a guest on the episode. O’Neal noticed that basketball fans keep asking who is the next Michael Jordan or LeBron James, and he reposed the question to Brady.

“Good question,” Brady responded. “I think when I look at quarterbacks in pro football, Patrick (Mahomes) is the one that really stands out. They’ve done a great job since he actually took over. He’s got a really good coach — Just like how lucky I am, just like how lucky you are – He will help you and be there for you when things are going well or not. He will humbly support you when things are going well; Know how to support you when things don’t go well.

“But it’s going to be fun,” Brady added. “People have to do it for a long time. I did it for a long time. When I look back on my career, I’ve been able to do it basically every game every year.”

Noting that he has only missed two games — one of which was a four-game suspension from the NFL following the 2016 Deflategate controversy — Brady has distilled his quarterback philosophy into a standard.

“Every game wasn’t perfect, but every game was pretty good, and most of the time I never put our team in a position to lose,” he explained. “There are very few people like this and I watch them over and over again.”

In addition to traditional metrics, Brady also highlighted how he’s getting stronger to maintain his durability levels (as a player who stays in the NFL until age 45).

“I think unfortunately, the way the game is going, a lot of guys are running the ball more. It’s just going to shorten careers,” he said.

Granted, the league has added additional rules over the years to help protect quarterbacks from too much contact. Still, Brady believes the increasing number of signal-callers competing will ultimately make his record more difficult.

“Running quarterbacks don’t last that long,” Brady said. “I don’t know who can play 21 years, I really don’t know. I know what it takes and it takes a lot. I’m sure there are people who have the ambition to try, but there’s a lot of things that have to go your way. I was able to The only reason I’m doing this is because I have a lot of people supporting me.”

However, if someone somehow reached his level of achievement, Brady admitted they would have his “respect.”

“I believe if someone does it, as long as I’m successful, then I’m going to give them a lot of respect,” Brady concluded. “For them to do that would be an incredible achievement, especially in this day and age.”


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