Tom Brady retires: NFL legend gives Joe Burrow advice before Bengals’ QB plays in his first Super Bowl

Only two quarterbacks have beaten Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs: Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. A day before officially announcing his retirement, the Bengals‘ quarterback was a guest on Brady’s “Let’s Go!” podcast. Burrow, who was 5 years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl, said that he was inspired after watching Brady endure a nasty hit by then-Bills defensive back Nate Clements during the 2001 season. 

“You got up so fast, and I saw that and I was like, I want to be like that,” Burrow recalled. “I just remember that vividly and trying to model myself after that.” 

Brady repaid the compliment by sharing his thoughts on the second-year quarterback. Specifically, Brady lauded Burrow’s fighting spirit after he was sacked 51 times during the season and 12 more times during the Bengals’ run through the AFC playoffs. 

“I love it,” Brady said. “The quarterback, there’s very few ways to display toughness, because we don’t play at the line of scrimmage. We don’t have to block, we don’t have to tackle. We don’t hit anybody. But the way we can show our toughness is to stand in the pocket and make throws. …. I think what I love about Joe’s game is that he does just that. He gets knocked down, he gets up and he’s ready for the next play.”

Burrow said that last year’s knee surgery limited him to being more of a pocket passer at the start of the 2021 season. He attributed his ability to make more plays outside of the pocket during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game win over the Chiefs to his improved physical confidence. Burrow’s mobility is something that Brady joked about when recalling his physical abilities and limitations. 

“I had a whole career of playing in the pocket,” Brady said while prompting a laugh from Burrow. “I was never going to make too many plays outside the pocket. It’s a great luxury to have. But I will say, it is much safer to be in the pocket than outside of the pocket. Some of those plays you made [Sunday]. I saw one of those great third-down runs you had, that was a terrific play. In those moments, you really have to go for it. I always think of John Elway when he dove for a first down there in a Super Bowl against the Packers. … You do have to, at different points, do whatever it takes to get the job done.

“In the pocket, out of the pocket, making throws, making reads, getting yourself in a good play, making good decisions for the team is what longterm success is going to be about for you.” 

A seven-time Super Bowl champion, Brady did not offer any technical advice to Burrow as it relates to playing on pro football’s biggest stage. But he did stress the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl, as Brady came up on the short end of the score three times in the big game. 

“I know [winning the AFC Championship is] a great feeling,” Brady said. “That was probably one of the great feelings you’ll ever feel in the locker room after a game. But there’s only one feeling that’s better, and that’s if you go take care of the one two weeks from now.” 

Before the podcast aired, Brady joked with podcast host Jim Gray that Burrow should go out on a high note if the Bengals beat the Rams while making him the first player to win a Heisman Trophy, national championship and Super Bowl title. Brady, however, quickly ended such talk while also making it clear that he will continue to watch and support Burrow, who is one of the best of the NFL‘s new wave of quarterbacks. 

“You’ve got a great future ahead,” Brady said to Burrow. “There’s a lot of football games left in your future, as there should be. We all get to watch you for a long time and really enjoy it. I wish you nothing but the best, as you know.” 

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