The Tom Brady-Randy Moss connection is still strong.
The 42-year old Pro Football Hall of Famer and 42-year old Patriots quarterback reunited for an interview aired on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown segment before the Patriots-Jets game.
The duo dominated during Moss’s three-year career in New England, which began in 2007. Moss caught a record-breaking 23 touchdowns for 1,493 yards in his first season with the Patriots, a record previously held by Jerry Rice (22).
Given their connection, Moss asked Brady what it takes for a quarterback and wide receiver to develop that type of chemistry.
“There’s two sets of eyes, seeing one thing, and it’s about getting those two eyes to see the exact same way in split-level decisions,” Brady explained. “For you to step in like you did, and see it the same way I saw, you actually expanded my eyes to what’s possible on the football field.”
“We were called ‘One-Man Route’ with you basically running anywhere on the field, and as soon as I would see you opening up your stride, I would just throw that sucker as far as I could.”
Moss, who retired after the 2012-13 season with the 49ers, asked Brady how he’s still able to play at their age.
“How do you still keep the fire going?” Moss asked.
“That’s a good question and I think for me, one it’s the love of the game,” Brady responded. “I enjoy it. Football is my first love. I sit here and think, if I wasn’t playing football, what would I still be doing? I can’t find an answer to that, so it’s like, why not just keep doing what I’m doing?”
Brady credited the “sacrifices” his family has made to support him throughout his career and as he continues playing.
“I asked my oldest son, Jack, ‘what do you think?’ And he said, ‘Whatever you want Dad.”
Still, Brady knows his career won’t last forever.
“It’ll come,” Brady said about eventual retirement. “It’s getting closer, we’re closer to the end. It’s not going to go on forever but I’m enjoying it. For me, at this point, it’s really just about the relationships: the people that I play for, the people that I play with. That’s what I’m enjoying.”
One player Brady is especially close with is former tight end Rob Gronkowski, who according to Robert Kraft has not submitted his retirement papers yet. Moss asked Brady if he’s “been texting” Gronk about a potential comeback:
“I do talk to him. He’s a great friend and I do see him doing some things he’s really wanted to do. I think the thing for me is, he’s happy. Honestly, that’s all I want for him. If happy to him is playing football one day, then, I would love that. If happiness is not [playing football], then I would love that, too.”
Brady says he’s appreciative of the moments he had with Gronk, as well as Moss.
“He’s a fun-loving guy, you know him. He’s one of a kind. Our team was amazing having him, but I also realize it was amazing having you [Moss], but it doesn’t last forever. You love it when you’re together, and when you’re not, you’ll appreciate the memories you had.”
As for this season, Brady credited the team’s 6-0 success so far to the defensive unit.
“I think it’s been about the defense [and] what those guys have been able to do. I sit on the sideline and watch them and think, ‘This is unbelievable.’ We’re getting the ball, we’re getting turnovers, those guys are sacking the quarterback, good field position.”
Brady was more measured about the offense.
“I think there’s definitely frustrations that I feel because we’re not excelling, but I also think it’s important to have reasonable expectations with what we should accomplish.”
“I’m happy that we’re 6-0, but I want us to be better too.”