Tom Brady said he “cringes” when he’s called the greatest of all time.
It’s true: Days after winning his sixth Super Bowl ring, the Patriots quarterback told Michael Strahan that he “doesn’t like” being called the GOAT.
“I don’t even like that! It makes me cringe,” he said earlier this year. “I wish you would say ‘you’re trash, you’re too old, you can’t get it done no more,’ and I would say ‘thank you very much. I’m going to prove you wrong.'”
While he might not like the nickname, many teammates, competitors, and Hall of Famers have expressed why he deserves the nod. Here’s what 12 NFL players had to say about why Tom Brady is the GOAT:
“He’s got five championships. I think that ends most discussions.”
“His overall game is just so much greater than the sum of its parts. And Tom Brady just wins. He knows voodoo…Tom Brady’s the G.O.A.T.”
“He’s No. 1 because of the production, the individual statistics, he’s had a revolving door in terms of the supporting cast around him from year to year, and yet he doesn’t miss a beat. We were preparing for the Saints. We watched the Patriots against the Saints and some of the plays he made, he threw a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski off-schedule, just hanging in the pocket, I see that as mobility, I see that as extending a play. It may not be running around, in fact sometimes running around he may look like a baby giraffe, but he finds a way in the pocket to keep his eyes downfield when there’s chaos around him and deliver throws time and time again, especially in big moments.’’
“The thing about Tom is he’s super clutch. He’s on time. When the game’s on the line, he has no fear.’’
“He’s the most basic quarterback you’ve ever seen. It’s the simplest football that you’ll ever see in your life…he’s figured it out: don’t complicate football…People can hate on him, y’all can be mad at him, but he’s the best quarterback we’ve ever seen.”
“This man really pick apart defenses with mediocre WR talent, he’s the greatest EVER.”
“[Brady] has my vote for the greatest to ever lace them up in a quarterback position. When you look at everything that Tom has accomplished, I think the defining moment for me, as a fan, was that Super Bowl comeback last year. For him to be able to bring his team back, Tom Brady the greatest of all time? To hell with the regular season, how about ALL the victories. You have my vote, number 1 man.”
“You’ve just got to look at what Brady [has] done. I went to two Super Bowls in thirteen years, feeling good about at least going, but the [Brady] is going every year. I got to go Brady [over Joe Montana].”
“Tom Brady is a game changer on the field, in the locker room, in life…The only one that can really rival him, that man from the 49ers, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning…[but] Tom Brady is in a class by himself. He can get another coach and still be Tom Brady.”
“Tom Brady is the greatest football player in the 97-year history of the NFL…The fashion in which he did it, and the body of work — his resume is extensive: 14 division titles, 2 league MVPs, 5,000-yard passing season, five Super Bowls, and four times he was Super Bowl MVP. In the past two [Super Bowls], the way he’s come back in dramatic fashion…For me, it’s Tom [as the GOAT]. What’re we debating?”
“That’s what makes him great…You saw that body [at the 2000 NFL Combine]. There’s no way you saw six championships in that body!…To produce what he has produced, and to play at the level he has played at, is incredible. All of us living should understand how blessed we are to be in this moment while he’s doing what he’s doing. I say yes to comparing him to [Michael] Jordan, and I think what he’s accomplished is more difficult.”
“You take 16 years of body of work like what Tom Brady has produced, but you also have to look at the eight Super Bowls he has participated in. Which is absolutely incredible…You have to think that the best quarterback to ever play the game is Tom Brady in my opinion, without a doubt.”