Skip to main content

Tom Brady Still Wears His Shoulder Pads From Michigan

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady dropping back for a pass.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots makes a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tom Brady last played for the University of Michigan back in 1999. Through six Super Bowl wins, four MVP seasons, and 14 Pro Bowls, he's carried one thing from his college days with him.

That was a literal statement. Brady, who enters his 20th NFL season, says that he still wears the same pair of shoulder pads that he did back at Michigan.

The revelation is interesting given the situation with Antonio Brown and his helmet. Like Brown, Brady was forced to switch to a new helmet due to new league restrictions. Unlike Brown, it never seemed like he might retire over the issue, but it is clearly still annoying to the Patriots quarterback.

Brady spoke to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston on the Quick Slants podcast. NESN transcribed the surprising but about Brady's 25-year old shoulder pads.

“'I’ve worn them for 25 years. They’ve gotten reconditioned a little bit. But I think once you find something you like, you kinda stick with it, and I’ve always kind of liked the way they felt, the shape of them.'

"Brady began his collegiate career at Michigan with these exact shoulder pads and has been comfortable in them ever since. But this is the first season the New England Patriots quarterback will have to switch helmets, as his old Riddell model is no longer on the NFL’s list of approved lids.

“'I’ve been wearing the same thing for a long time,'” Brady said. 'I’ve been wearing the same thing for forever. You get used to one thing, one feel.'"

While he hasn't made the same public issue of it as Brown, the helmet issue is clearly bothering Brady as well, and went into the difference he's felt with the new gear.

"This (helmet) is a pound heavier, so it’s 25% heavier on your head. That takes a lot of getting used to. I wish it was lighter. I tried to make it lighter. They couldn’t make it lighter. … Add 25 percent to your pen or 25 percent smaller keys on your keyboard and tell me how that feels. That’s a little different.”

Brady has shown a bit of wear at times over the last year or two, but he is coming off yet another Super Bowl, and there are few quarterbacks, if any, many would trust to win a game over him. I'd be surprised if a new helmet did much to derail that consistency.

[Quick Slants via NESN]