Clyde Christensen - one of the most accomplished and revered quarterback coaches in the NFL - was a guest on the Pat McAfee Show Thursday to discuss a myriad of topics ranging from Peyton Manning’s days in Indianapolis and Denver to Andrew Luck’s intelligence to Jameis Winston’s future.
Of course, McAfee had to ask about Christensen’s new quarterback Tom Brady. Christensen was an instrumental piece in the evaluation of the pending free agent quarterbacks and he did extensive research on both Brady and Philip Rivers.
When asked about Brady’s physical abilities heading into his 21st season - one that will begin after Brady turns 43 - Christensen had this to say;
“It was fun to do free agency this year. This first guy I wrote - we did it in alphabetical order - so I’m writing up Tom Brady in free agency, like you do every year. Y’know, answering the questions - ‘Do you think he can be a starter in the NFL?’ ‘Can he start for us?’ ‘Is he a leader?’ - I really thought it was candid camera. I thought it was a set-up.
But, we did him like we do everyone else. So I watched every throw of his for four years and couldn’t see any drop off whatsoever. Anyone who says that he can’t - just is talking. They haven’t watched the film. He makes every throw.
Now, some years they had fast guys and they threw that ball up the field. Some years they didn’t. This year they didn’t and they threw more checkdowns. Any time he got his opportunity, that ball went up and usually extremely successfully.
I think that narrative is dead off base and if I thought that way we probably wouldn’t have gone after him. He is playing at an extremely high level. He took his physical, they said his joints are that of a 30 year old man. He takes care of himself.
There is nothing on the film that shows he is dropping off accuracy wise, arm strength wise. Everyone says ‘well, he doesn’t want to get hit.’ Well, I don’t know a quarterback that really wants to get hit. He has an elite clock, like Peyton (Manning). He can assess how long he has to throw that thing to the hundredth of a second like nobody else. He knows that, ‘hey - if we don’t block that defensive end, I can hold that ball for 1.95 seconds before I have to throw it.’ If no one is open at that point, they do a great job throwing it away, they’re hard to sack, and that’s going to be a great asset for us.
But to your original question, I saw no drop off in arm strength, no inability to make any throw that needs to be made.”
So, from a guy who has coached some of the greatest quarterbacks to ever grace an NFL field, Tom Brady hasn’t lost a single thing in his game. Whether people want to believe that now or withhold judgement until they see it on the field is up to them. At the end of the day, it’s worth trusting the eyes and brain of Christensen that if they had seen anything to give them pause about Brady’s ability to succeed in this offense, Tom Brady would not be a member of the Buccaneers.
You can see Christensen’s full interview by clicking here or in the player below. If the video starts from the beginning, fast-forward to the 19:44 mark to go straight to Christensen’s appearance.