Brady is the Bucs’ best QB — already

by Gary Shelton on October 18, 2021

in general

Brady is already the best./(Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers via AP)

Monday, 4 a.m.

He just got here, okay. For an old guy, he is still fairly new. The ink is barely dry on his contract.

He is eighth on the list of games won by a Bucs' quarterback. He is eighth on the team's all-time yardage record. He is eighth when it comes to touchdown passes.

But, yeah, Tom Brady is the best quarterback the Tampa Bay Bucs have ever employed.

By a lot.

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Oh, you knew this, even if you didn't think enough time had passed to actually say it out loud. But even in the 22 regular season games that Brady has played (plus the four playoffs), Brady has established himself as a threat this team never had. The Bucs have always put too much of the load on their quarterbacks; Brady is the first guy to be able to pick it up.

Look, if he never wins another game, Brady will be in the Bucs' Ring of Honor. Of course he will. HIs name will be taught in schools. True, Tampa Bay can claim only the end of his legacy, but it's enough.

And that's what separates Brady from the empty uniforms that have come before him. Who would you rather have behind center on Sunday?

It's Brady.

By a lot.

Let's be honest. Part of the reason that Brady is the best the Bucs ever had is, well, the remarkable ordinariness of the men who have played the position. Look at the yardage leaders, and you start off with Jameis Winston, Vinny Testaverde, Josh Freeman and Trent Dilfer -- all of whom left town as a crashing disappointments. (Doug Williams and Brad Johnson also are ahead of Brady, but like the others, they've played in a lot more games.

The truth of it is that Brady was the best Bucs' quarterback there ever was before he even put on a jersey. Who else are you going to take?

Doug Williams? I think the world of Doug, but he hit just 49.5 percent of his passes, and his career record is .500. His rating as a Bucs' quarterback was just 66.2. As a Buc, Brady's is 103.9.

Brad Johnson? Hey, Johnson won a Super Bowl title, too. But even including that season, he was 29-26 as a starter.

Winston? Freeman? Testaverde? Dilfer? The four horsemen of the apocalypse? Yeah, they amassed a lot of yards, but then, they played a lot of games. Testaverde is 16th on the all-time passing yardage list; but it didn't happen here.

Brady is the best because he's won, and because it looks as if he'll keep winning. Because he makes this week, and next week, look like a good bet.

And really, isn't that the best thing a quarterback can promise?

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