NFL Any Era: Tom Brady
January, 25, 2012
By James Walker | ESPN.com
ESPN.com IllustrationTom Brady against Hall of Famer Willie "Contact" Lanier? We'd like to see it. MATCHUP GALLERYESPN.com's Any Era series continues this week, and has another AFC East player in Wednesday's group.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady comes in at No. 11. He is playing in his fifth Super Bowl on Feb. 5, and is tied with Joe Montana for the most playoff wins (16) in NFL history.
Here are comments on Brady from current Hall of Famers:
FLOYD LITTLE: He's the ultimate quarterback. You can say his name with Joe Montana, John Elway and Dan Marino. When you talk about great quarterbacks, Tom Brady is right there, if not above that. He has become an icon, and his name personifies greatness. He could have played yesterday, today, tomorrow. When you talk about quarterbacks, he's the first one that comes to mind. When you want to list the top 10 quarterbacks of all time, he's in that group. What he's done with the Patriots, I don't think can be duplicated in my lifetime. I think I'll see him at a Hall of Fame luncheon one of these days, and I'll be the first one in line to shake his hand.
MIKE DITKA: I don't think anybody understands his toughness. He's very smart. They create mismatches, and he knows how to use them. He uses those receivers so well. And if you're a receiver, you love to play for a guy like him. He makes you good. And he makes good players great. Wes Welker is a good player, but Tom Brady makes Wes Welker a great player.
JIM BROWN: Tom Brady is mentally tough. He has all kinds of talent and is able to work closely mentally with his coach, Bill Belichick. Brady has had the ability to work with him and to deliver their combined intelligence on the field, and I am sure he has a lot to do with potential players they would want to sign as a free agent or even draft. He makes everybody work well together. Players who succeed with him might not succeed on other teams.
Brady will be remembered as one of the top five quarterbacks in NFL history. He also is a classic story of a low-round draft pick who worked hard and developed into a future Hall of Famer.
Brady's characteristics, such as tenacity, leadership, smarts, talent and worth ethic, work in any era. This vote also proves winning is timeless.