Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady’s strengths have always been the ability to pick apart defenses from the pocket and his quick release to his open receivers which make him one of the most difficult QBs to sack.
In 2020, Brady was sacked only 21 times, which was the eighth-fewest among QBs with at least 300 pass attempts, according to Next Gen Stats. In fact, Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes actually took one more sack than Brady, despite being nearly 20 years younger.
Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark knows that he’s going to have his work cut out for him on Super Bowl Sunday trying to take down Brady. He credited the legendary quarterback for his elusiveness in the pocket while shredding apart defenses.
“Have you ever seen Tom Brady’s shoulders when he’s in the pocket? You’ve got to pull the film up for this one,” Clark told the Tampa Bay Times. “His shoulders are crazy sometimes. Like, I don’t know. Tom Brady is what, 43? I don’t have anything against anybody of 43 years, or around that age.
“Man, to be able to move his shoulders like that, playing in the league for 20, 30-something years, for him to be able to move his shoulders like that still, it’s quite amazing. Me and [defensive tackle] Chris Jones talk about it all the time. I think Chris missed a sack because [Brady], like, shimmied his shoulders a certain kind of way. Chris, like, completely missed him.”
Clark compared Brady to current Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL when it comes to scrambling and extending plays. It’s quite the comparison, especially since Watson is more athletic than Brady.
“I think Deshaun Watson’s the best,” Clark said. “You watch Tom Brady sometimes in that pocket. You can’t really tell the difference.”
Meanwhile, Clark isn’t the only member of the Chiefs defensive unit who marvels at Brady.
“He’s been doing it for 21 years or something, so he knows how to not go down,” Chiefs defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon added. “He moves his shoulders and he gets out of your way. Not the same way Pat does — Pat is a whole different beast — but Tom is really skilled in that pocket. So it’s really [a matter of] crushing that pocket so he has nowhere to go.”
It will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo attacks Brady on Super Bowl Sunday. What makes the match-up worth watching is the veteran coach is no stranger to creating schemes to try and halt Brady. Spagnuolo headed up the “Big Blue” defense of the New York Giants back in 2007 when they upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.