Perea – There was a time when Jacoby Brissett didn’t have the Graybird locker room. A time when the quarterback wasn’t the wise veteran, but the wide-eyed rookie just trying to find his way around the league.
It was 2016, when the 23-year-old Brissett was in the third round by the New England Patriots. On top of having to try and learn professional skills, he had to share a center room with the greatest quarterback of all time.
For Brissett, sharing a room with Tom Brady was akin to a younger brother sharing it with an older one. He was determined to suck on as much of the 39-year-old as he could.
“I was that kid who was annoying as hell and kind of fair, wherever he went, I tried to follow him, the places I could go, just trying to get as much information as possible,” Brissett said Wednesday. “And even during games I just talked to him about things he saw about certain things. Obviously not all the time because the game is a little bit different, but I was one of those guys who tried to be a sponge.”
Whether or not Brady actually wants all of Brissett’s attention, only he can tell. Whether or not Brady said something to him in the moment — like, “Leave me alone” or “Get away from me” — Brissett, now the Browns’ starting quarterback, can’t quite remember.
“He might have done it but I’d probably still say something to him,” said Brissett, who started two games that rookie season due to Brady’s four-game suspension with Deflategate.
Brissett numbers to say something again to Brady on Sunday. Only this time, they’ll be on different teams when the Browns host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
For Brissett, it will likely be his last start of the season. Deshaun Watson is set to return from an 11-game suspension next week when the Browns travel to Houston, and he’s already been named the starter for that game.
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For Brady, it will likely be his last start in Cleveland. The 45-year-old retired briefly last off-season, but hasn’t stopped what is now his 23rd season.
Brissett may not have known if he would become the Browns’ starter when Tampa Bay came to town at the time he signed with them on March 19. And he admits he certainly wasn’t expecting to see Brady, who didn’t finish his chair six days before his job. Signed in Cleveland, at the game.
Brissett said “No. I don’t think he’ll play now, but I’m not surprised he does.”
What shouldn’t, and what doesn’t, surprises Brissett is the level at which Brady plays despite his age. The longtime seven-time Super Bowl champion has shown that age was just a number to him in terms of his performance on the court.
Brady enters Sunday’s game having won his 65th regular season win since turning 40, which will coincide with Brissett’s second season in the league. The four highest-earning quarterbacks over the age of 40 — Drew Brees (17), Brett Favre (13), Warren Moon (11) and Vinnie Testaverde (eight) — combine with 49.
It is more than just a professional achievement. Until this season, Brady was one of the best quarterbacks in the league, leading it in completions (282) and attempts (427), while ranking fourth in passing yards (2,805) and recording the fewest interceptions (two) of any starter in the NFL. league.
Brissett said: “I shouldn’t be surprised because he’s still playing at the moment. Just the best he can ever do, play wise, wise fellow, you just know his love and passion for the game, his understanding of football’s competitive nature. There’s so much I can do.” say about him.”
The most Brissett can say about him goes back to what he experienced as that fresh-faced rookie with the Patriots. By that point in his career, Brady had already established himself as the greatest quarterback of all time and arguably the biggest league winner.
It was the standard that Brady held himself that was extended to those around him. This is what allowed Brissett to try out for a Super Bowl championship before he was dealt from the Patriots to the Indianapolis Colts before the 2017 season.
However, for Brissett, what was even more surprising was the fact that despite his high level of personal success and A-list celebrity status, Brady wasn’t that guy for his teammates. That is why, to this day, he holds it at such a high level.
“Because everyone looks at him as Tom Brady and doesn’t think he’s Tom Brady, I would say,” Brissett said. “I know that from the first day I met him, he was the same guy. Honestly, he raised me to a higher level than I probably held at the beginning of my career and there are so many things I can say about him.”
Things that, no doubt, Brissett could say after he confronts Brady on Sunday afternoon.
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