Tom Brady received a congratulatory text message from his ultimate competitor following his Super Bowl win with the Buccaneers.
“Yeah, I sent Tom a text just congratulating him and really just saying how not surprised but impressed with what he was able to do this year with Tampa, changing teams, shortened season, lock out and pandemic, everything going on,” former Giants quarterback Eli Manning told Sports Illustrated Tuesday.
“To still learn a brand new offense and make those adjustments and go win a championship is pretty spectacular. I’ve known Tom a long time and I just wanted him to know that I was impressed, along with a lot of other people.”
Manning, who retired last January after 16 seasons with the Giants, defeated Brady and the Patriots in two Super Bowls throughout his career. Nick Foles with the Eagles is the only other quarterback to steal a Lombardi Trophy away from the 43-year-old.
But after Brady led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl in first season in Tampa Bay, Manning felt compelled to pass along his admiration.
“One of the reasons I did retire is that I didn’t want to make that change, I didn’t want to move my family, start all over, go to a different organization that maybe does things different than what you’ve been doing your entire career,” he said. “Almost 20 years, you’ve been doing something one way. What if it’s different? What if you can’t make those adjustments or coaches want you to do things that you’re not used to doing? There’s so many what ifs.
“Obviously, he was able to go there, implement some of the things that he’s had success with, but also make those changes and learn, grow as a player, as a teammate. Just a lot of respect for Tom and not just this year but his entire career.”