Now, before you choke on your Wheaties, be advised that Brady wasn’t talking about joining Michael Vick as the only quarterbacks to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season. And the New England star, known for having just about every desirable trait except foot speed, certainly isn’t planning on changing positions.
Rather, Brady was referring to the 32 rushing yards he needs to reach 1,000 for his regular season career, which began in 2000. He made the claim as a cheeky way of captioning a video he posted to social media, one that showed him training vigorously for his 19th season.
In hashtags appended to his post, Brady referred to the likes of Adrian Peterson, the free agent widely considered the finest running back of his time, highly mobile Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers, the Packers quarterback also more than able to hurt defenses with his feet. Brady also alluded to Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, suggesting that it won’t be “so easy anymore” for the Denver star to track him down for sacks.
In addition, Brady made a reference to running quarterback sneaks on third-and-one plays, something at which he already excels. ESPN tallied up Brady last year as having sneaked it 124 times from 2001 through 2016, in all down situations, easily the most in the NFL in that span and more than twice as many as runner-up Drew Brees (62). Brady also had the highest success rate at 91.1 percent, and his video, showing him attached to an elastic band held by a trainer, indicates that he has no intention of suffering any loss in leg drive as heads into the 2018 season.
Brady was infamously unathletic when he entered the NFL, part of the reason he slipped to the sixth round of the 2000 draft, before which he ran a glacially slow (by NFL standards) 40-yard time of 5.28 seconds. Through rigorous training exercises and ascetic eating habits, he has worked to remake his body, including shaving “maybe two or three tenths” of a second off that time, as he claimed in 2016.
No, that’s not going to be enough to let Brady outrun Miller, let alone keep pace with the likes of Wilson, but it should be enough to help him rush this season for 32 yards, a total he’s reached in 13 different seasons. On the other hand, Brady only rushed for 28 yards last year, on 25 carries, so perhaps he’ll finish the 2018 season with just the right motivation for at least one more.
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