Tom Brady went on the Howard Stern Show this morning and spent over two hours on the Sirius XM channel in what may be his most revealing interview to date.
The pair talked life, love and football, with a spin only Stern could put on the conversation. Brady was loose, even cussing from time to time, and got candid about everything from his relationship with his father to his marriage to Gisele Bündchen and even funny locker room stories with former teammates.
Most of the conversation revolved around Brady as a person and outside the world of football, but there were a few things that were snuck in there about the Buccaneers and his decision to make Tampa Bay home for the next two years, at least.
He started by talking about Derek Jeter's house, which he is currently renting from the former baseball star-turned-owner.
Brady also mentioned he's not quite used to fans on boats being able to come up close to the house. It's a stark contrast from his home in New England that sat back from the road and was surrounded by landscape.
Brady also mentioned that he came up with a list of about 20 things that were important to him when making his decision on which of the many teams were interested in signing him during free agency. He prioritized all of them and it was Tampa Bay that could give him the things that most stood out to him, like proximity to family (Brady has a son, Jack, who lives with his mother in New York), good players (i.e. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin), good coaching and he even said he was looking forward to playing in a warmer climate.
Brady elaborated a little on his new head coach, too.
"I like him a lot," Brady said of Arians. "And I think part of the reason why I chose here was, I mean there were a lot of reasons. I think even being a free agent I learned so much about having the opportunity to evaluate where the priorities really were for me. Coaching was obviously hugely important, and he's been a long-time coach. He has a different way about him, but I think it's authentic to him and I think the best thing for a coach to be is authentic to who you are. He's definitely someone who tells you straight, which I appreciate that too."
Brady also dropped the biggest piece of insight into the process earlier in the conversation when Stern asked him when he decided he would depart New England after 20 years and see what else is out there.
"I don't think there was a final, final decision until it happened," Brady said. "But I would say I probably knew before the start of last season that it was my last year. I knew that it was just – our time was coming to an end."
Brady said he cried in his meeting with Patriots' Owner Robert Kraft to tell him he was leaving, as well as when they were on the phone with Head Coach Bill Belichick to deliver the news. Stern then asked Brady if he was disappointed to not finish out his career with the Pats, too.
"I never cared about legacy," Brady said a little offhandedly. "I couldn't give a s--- about that. I never once when I was in high school said 'Man, I can't wait for what my football legacy looks like.' It's just not me, that's not my personality. Why would I choose a different place? Because it was just time."
Brady wished nothing but the best for his former teammates, but his allegiance definitely lies with his new ones.
"I have a lot of friends there," Brady said of New England. I want them to do great…"
Brady, however, got the most candid when opening up about his wife and family. He talked a lot about his father and how he was a major source of motivation for him growing up. He even went on to say that it largely kept him away from alcohol and drugs as a high schooler and even in college. He didn't want to ever disappoint his dad.
It helped him grow up with a solid foundation and confidence in himself.
"When I got drafted by the Patriots, I knew I was going to be the starting quarterback at some point," Brady said. "I didn't know that I would have the professional success that I've had, but I never really doubted in myself."
He talked about meeting Bündchen, their first date was at a wine bar in New York City after being set up by a mutual friend.
"She walked in and she sat down and obviously, I thought she was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in my life."
Brady also admitted that it hasn't all been easy, either. He said two years ago, he had to 'check himself' with all the time he was spending on himself and his career. Bündchen needed him at home more, which is what led to him spending OTAs the past few years at home training, rather than with the team. She said that she had goals and dreams that she wanted to accomplish, too. One thing he said that really stood out was how nurturing of a wife and mother she is and how she wants to extend that beyond their family and make an impact on the world. But everything was one-sided at that point with his career. Brady said she wrote him a letter expressing all of this, one that he still keeps in a drawer.
Brady mentioned that when he first met Bündchen, the friend that set them up mentioned to her that Brady was her in a male version and they found that they were very similar people. Brady also shared a little about another he was connected to through their very motivated and driven mentality: Kobe Bryant.
Brady still feels that he can help a team and still wants to play football. So that's what he's doing - and he's doing it in Tampa. In all, it allowed Bucs fans, and probably even long-time Brady fans, to get to know their quarterback in a new light.