Tom Brady explains why he wants to avoid being ‘too critical’ as broadcaster

After a year away from the NFL as he began retirement, Tom Brady is gearing up to put on a headset for the first time. He’s jumping into the FOX broadcast booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt as the network’s No. 1 color commentator, and he’s gearing up for that transition.

When it comes to the type of broadcaster he wants to be, Brady understands the Xs and Os part of the equation will translate. As a quarterback, he read defenses for 23 years before announcing his retirement, and he’s now just relaying his thoughts on how the offenses handle schemes and vice versa.

But as a fierce competitor, Brady said he also found himself being a little too critical when talking to his teammates. That’s what he hopes to avoid in the booth as he tries to resonate with fans.


“I think the analysis of what I’m actually seeing will be relatively straightforward from me. It’s kind of what I’ve done every day,” Brady told Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina on the SI Media Podcast. “I think the preparation is something that I’ll really enjoy. I think the important part for me will be how do I just continue to make it fun for people to enjoy the viewing experience? Sometimes, I get a little too serious because I see myself as ‘quarterback Tom Brady,’ as opposed to, ‘let’s enjoy a great game of football Tom Brady.’

“Sometimes, I become maybe a little too critical. So, I’m trying to make sure that I have the right tone. I was tough on my teammates – I was tough on Wes [Welker] and Julian [Edelman], I was tough on the running backs and the line. I was fiery and competitive, and I just want to make sure that doesn’t – I’m very specific of how I think the game should be played. And I want to see the game evolve and grow.”

While he doesn’t have any broadcasting experience, Brady brings perhaps the most decorated on-field resume ever into the booth. A seven-time Super Bowl champion, he became perhaps the greatest of all-time, and the Patriots waived their four-year limit to induct him into their Hall of Fame Wednesday night. The franchise also retired his No. 12 jersey and announced plans for a statue.

But Brady took a year off before teaming up with Burkhardt, meaning Greg Olsen got one more year on the A-Team. As for why he chose to sit out, the legendary quarterback said he wanted to hone his craft before holding a microphone.

“For me it was the only way to do it,” Brady said. “I realized that to come off of playing season and then to jump right into that, it’s a whole ‘nother discipline to learn and I really wanted to take some time to watch, listen and learn and talk to people.

“People who I really see as the greatest at what they’ve done, and everyone really opened their arms to embrace me and phone calls and there’s still more that I’m going to make before the start of the season. And I’m just very grateful for all the people that kind of shared a lot of incredible nuggets, ways to succeed, that I’ll be able to involve myself in as I go forward.”

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