Brady graduated from Junipero Serra High School, the same school that produced baseball slugger Barry Bonds and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. Brady attended the University of Michigan and led Michigan to an Orange Bowl victory in the 1999 season. In the 2000 NFL Draft, Brady was selected by the New England Patriots in the 6th round (199th overall).
Born near San Francisco, Brady would be regularly taken to see the 49ers play in the 1980s. He was particularly struck by San Francisdco quarterback Joe Montana and his historic touchdown pass to Dwight Clark. Since that time, Brady has mentioned Montana as one of his inspirations and an idol . He played college football for, and graduated from,the University of Michigan, sitting on the bench his first two years; including a year as understudy to fellow UM teammate and future NFL quarterback Brian Griese who led the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship. Brady battled for the first string quarterback position with Drew Henson and ultimately started every game in the 1998 and 1999 seasons under legendary Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr. He was All-Big Ten both seasons and team captain his senior year. The Wolverines won 20 of 25 games when Brady started and shared the Big Ten Conference title in 1998. In the 1999 season, Brady led Michigan in defeating Alabama in an exciting overtime game in the Orange Bowl and threw for 400 yards in that game.
Initially, Brady served as the backup to the starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. This changed on September 23, 2001, when the Patriots were playing against their AFC East division rivals, New York Jets at Foxboro Stadium. During that game, Drew Bledsoe suffered internal bleeding after colliding with Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. New England not only lost the game but Bledsoe, too. Soon after Brady was named the starting quarterback, he led the Patriots to an 11-5 record and into the playoffs.
During a 2001-2002 divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders (played in January 2002), Tom Brady had been ruled as having fumbled on a pass attempt, with Oakland protecting a three-point lead. Citing the controversial "tuck rule," where a ball is ruled an incomplete pass after the quarterback starts any forward throwing motion, referee Walt Coleman overturned the decision after reviewing the instant replay, calling the drop an incomplete pass rather than a fumble. Brady, who threw for 312 yards in his first NFL playoff game, led the Patriots back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and engineered the winning drive in overtime to beat the Raiders. After defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots were considered 14-point underdogs against the NFC champion St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
With less than two minutes left in the Super Bowl, and the score tied, legendary sportscaster John Madden famously said that he thought that the Patriots should let the time run out on the clock and look to win the game in overtime. Instead, Brady led the Patriots offense on an offensive passing barrage, driving down the field and winning the game by an Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expired. The Patriots won the championship and Brady was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXVI.
Tom Brady and the Patriots finished the year at 9-7, tied for the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins for the best record in the division. However the Jets won the division on the third tiebreaker, and the Patriots did not make the playoffs... However, this year served as a building year for the Patriots, and an important developmental year for Brady. Brady threw a league-leading 28 touchdown passes.
Brady played much of the second half of the season with a shoulder injury, and New England head coach Bill Belichick has since indicated that if the Patriots had made the playoffs, Brady would not have been able to play in the first game due to that injury.
In the 2003-2004 NFL season, after a 2-2 start, Brady led the Patriots to 12 consecutive victories to finish the historic season and win the AFC East.
In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Patriots shut down the NFL regular season co-MVPs, Tennessee's Steve McNair and Indianapolis's Peyton Manning. On February 1, 2004, Brady led the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the surprising NFC champion Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time, setting the record for most completions by a QB in the Superbowl.
With 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 29, Brady engineered a drive to put the Patriots in position for the game-winning field goal.
During the 2004-2005 season, Brady helped the Patriots set an NFL record with 21 straight wins dating from the previous year. New England's 14-2 record matched that of the 2003-04 season and equalled the best record ever for a defending champion. The Patriots also won the AFC East divisional title for the third time in four years. In the AFC playoffs, Brady led the Patriots to victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brady played his best game of the year in Pittsburgh despite requiring IV treatment the previous night when he had a temperature of 103 degrees. Against the NFL's best defensive team, Brady recorded a quarterback passer rating of 130.5, his highest of the season.
On February 6, 2005, the Brady-led Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX for their third NFL championship in four years.
Tom Brady's arm strength is more than adequate. He also places great touch on the ball and sees the entire field and the various possibilities or options available. Though Brady is not known for his running ability, he compensates for this with his poise, leadership, and ability to "read" opposing defenses and make quick decisions, particularly in clutch situations. Brady also has outstanding pocket presence, often shifting around the pocket to avoid pressure. The offensive system of the Patriots places a premium on the running backs setting up a methodical short-to-midrange passing game that includes many screen plays and minimizes the risk of interceptions.
There is considerable debate, both among football fans and sportswriters, as to where exactly Tom Brady ranks in the quarterback pantheon. This debate has existed and evolved for several years, from arguments over whether Brady was even better than average to current arguments that center on comparing Brady to only a few select and elite quarterbacks. Most notably, comparisons are often made with Peyton Manning of the Indianpolis Colts, leading to fierce and bitter controversy. There seems to be a general consensus however that Brady is one of the three best quarterbacks in the NFL. Few fans attempt to argue that more than one or two other quarterbacks are better.
Brady's fiercest detractors have argued that he is a "system quarterback," and believe that many other quarterbacks would have enjoyed the same level of success playing for the Patriots. Brady's defenders argue that he is an unflappable clutch player whose record speaks for itself. Under Tom Brady, the New England Patriots' regular season record is outstanding: 48-17, and they are undefeated (9-0) in the playoffs and a perfect (7-0) in overtime. It should be noted that Brady is a notoriously accurate touch passer, even under pressure. He has been known to throw "perfect" passes during the most intense physical and strategic situations. He has led the most (21) game-winning scoring drives in the 4th quarter or overtime in the NFL since he became a starter. While not known for his outstanding statistics, Brady is seventh all-time in passer rating, posting an 88.1 career mark through week 8 of the 2005-2006 season. Brady also led the NFL in touchdown passes in 2002-2003 with 28.
Tom Brady's background as a collegian not highly ranked by NFL scouts attaining superstardom (and, some would argue, his near-iconic status on par with other Boston sports legends as Larry Bird, Bobby Orr, and Ted Williams,) is somewhat reminiscent of Joe Montana's career and compares extremely well with Montana's career at the same age in terms of both personal and team accomplishments. It is worth keeping in mind, however, that Montana played at a high level for a long time, and careers can always take sudden downturns in the NFL. The effects of the departure of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who became head coach of Notre Dame in 2005, remains to be seen. Through the Patriots first fourteen games in the 2005-2006 season, however, Brady is leading the league in passing yards, having thrown for 262 more yards than the next most prolific quarterback, Peyton Manning. He is, after 14 games, on pace to throw 4,443 yards this season, though many fans expect his pace to be more modest during the final part of the season as the Patriots play two more games in frigid northeast conditions. Even as his supporting cast continues to be decimated by injury (including the losses of left tackle Matt Light and Center Dan Koppen for the season), the Patriots have managed to put together a 10-5 record. This record comes despite having played one of the toughest schedules in the NFL to this point. The current consensus is that this season has further cemented Brady's reputation as one of the very best quarterbacks in the game.
2005 Regular Season (as of 26 December 2005)
- 93.0 quarterback rating
- 25 passing touchdowns
- 13 interceptions
- 4073 passing yards, #1 in the NFL.
- 63.4% completion rate
Career (as of 26 December 2005)
- 17,998 passing yards
- 122 passing touchdowns
- 65 interceptions
- 67-19 record as a starter
- 7-0 in overtime games
Postseason records and statistics
- 9-0 in the postseason (11-0 including college)
- 1951 postseason passing yards (216.7 ypg)
- 11 postseason touchdowns
- 3 postseason interceptions
- 101.3 passing attempts per INT in the playoffs (lowest rate among any QB to play in 6 or more games)
- 3 Pro Bowls
- 2 Super Bowl MVP awards
- 3 Super Bowl rings
- most completions in a Super Bowl (32 in Super Bowl XXXVIII)
On January 26, 2004, Tom Brady attended the annual State of the Union Address as a guest of President George W. Bush. Brady declined to discuss his political views with the media. According to The Smoking Gun as of 2004, Tom Brady is a registered voter, but has not voted in any political election so far.
Brady is a lifelong Roman Catholic.
Brady appears in a Visa commercial with his teammates from his offensive line, Brandon Gorin, Tom Ashworth, Russ Hochstein, Matt Light, and Dan Koppen in which the offensive linemen represented Visa's five layers of protection.
In the December 12, 2005 Issue of Sports Illustrated, Brady was named Sportsman of the Year; he is the fourth pro football player to receive the honor since the award was created in 1954 and the first pro football player to garner the accolade since 1990.
- New England Patriots' Official Website
- Tom Brady Statistics
- ESPN.com Tom Brady Profile
- The Smoking Gun's Super Bowl QB Tom Brady's No Patriot
- St. Petersburg Times article on Brady's first Super Bowl MVP
- Tom Brady's Relationships with Product Brands
- Absolute Brady - Tom Brady Fansite
- Tom Brady Pictures at Mike DeSimone's Michigan Football Picture Databasefr:Tom Brady