Tom Brady is slow, right? That’s a known fact around the NFL. Or is it?
That might be more myth than reality.
Here’s what New England Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder had to say about his quarterback’s speed.
“I’d be embarrassed if he beat me in a regular footrace,” says Solder, per Kevin Clark of The Ringer. “But there are plenty of times I’m lead blocking for him and I can’t catch him and I’m like, ‘What the heck?’”
Apparently, the perception that Brady is slow has led to some interesting developments within the New England Patriots locker room.
“We questioned his speed last year,” says backup Jimmy Garoppolo. And so Brady challenged him to a foot race in camp. “It’s besides the point who won,” Garoppolo says with a laugh, suggesting the four-time Super Bowl winner was the victor. “He’s quick.” Former Patriots draftee Zac Robinson remembers another former Pats QB, Brian Hoyer, making a similar statement to Brady in training camp in 2010. Hoyer quickly learned that when someone attacks Brady’s speed, the starter takes it personally. “There will be an argument and all of the sudden Tom is setting up a short-shuttle race,” Robinson says. “You would just see the competitiveness — when Tom wants to compete, he’s quick and agile.”
This is a far cry from the guy we’ve all seen as an NFL hopeful running the 40-yard dash in a T-shirt and shorts at the combine.
Tom Brady's 40 yard dash is so slow it takes and entire vine… 6 seconds https://t.co/uSY0NeUyX0
— Eddie Behrens (@eddiebehr) February 25, 2015
Then again, Brady has taken his health seriously since entering the league. His diet is legendarily strict (more on that here), and his entire life seems to revolve around keeping fit enough to play in the NFL well into his 40s.
He’s no Colin Kaepernick, that’s for sure. But it says something that Brady continues to be just quick enough to evade pressure more often than not, and he can run when he needs to.
The Tom Brady wheels on a 15-yard run up the middle on 3rd and 5, looking actually fast pic.twitter.com/u4SMz9i13X
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 30, 2016
So, despite the perception that Brady is slow, there is growing evidence that he’s not as cement-footed as we thought.
And, on a different note, Garoppolo might want to revisit his sprint training if he’s getting beat by a 39-year-old veteran of 17 NFL seasons.