9 things we learned from episode 9


Brady and Julian Edelman share their thoughts on playing for Bill Belichick.

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman before Super Bowl LIII. Jim Davis / Globe Staff

In the ninth episode of the documentary series “Man in the Arena”, Tom Brady explores the end of his time with the Patriots.

The primary focus was the 2018 season (culminating in a Super Bowl LIII victory over the Rams), but the show also touched on Brady’s final thoughts about playing in New England for Bill Belichick.

Unlike the previous episode, where Brady and several guests were interviewed, the ninth installment (titled “Maybe”) features only Brady and former Patriots teammate, Julian Edelman.

Here are some takeaways:

Brady’s Thoughts on Edelman’s Evolution

Although they would become a tight partnership on the field, Brady initially saw Edelman as a player who lacked polish.

Brady said, “I didn’t know much about Julian except I knew we were going to find out this kid from Kent State, who I think was ultimately a better football player, who was a Was the wide receiver.”

But by 2018, the lifelong “football player” had grown into a multiple-time Super Bowl winner, and one of Brady’s most trusted targets.

Brady said of Edelman that season, “Julian raised his game to a ridiculous level.” “He became a driving force for our team and [from] A different era than earlier in my career, Julian has become the kind of real patriot that a lot of people before him.

Later, he credited Edelman’s drive and work ethic for reaching his full potential.

“That was fantastic. That’s all I will say,” Brady said. “He was the ultimate overachiever.”

Edelman on his 2017 injury and the “business” of the NFL

During a presidential game against the Lions in 2017, Edelman tore his ACL.

“I got out of my base, tried to cut at high velocity, terrible technique, maybe getting a little over-arrogant in there and I blew my knee,” he recalled.

One of Edelman’s more interesting comments throughout the episode was his description that he had been off football for a year, and that he had a mental load.

“You spend a lot of time away from the game and you see your team go out and succeed, you start thinking, and you start getting hungry, and you go crazy,” Edelman said. “You start trying to compete with yourself every day.

“Injury in professional football or any kind of professional sport, it’s very demanding psychologically because you want your team to do well, but you don’t want to see your team doing very well because then, it’s a business. “

Edelman’s suspension

Prior to the 2018 season, in which Edelman was returning from a season missed due to injury, he was suspended for taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The former receiver never directly addressed the subject of drug use in the documentary, although he did add more to the topic of how difficult it was for him without football.

“It was a very tough year for me, strictly for the fact that I’m not playing the sport I love,” Edelman said. “You’re sitting there and you’re reflecting every day about yourself, about your sport, about your life, this, that, what’s going to happen. Because the one thing that’s probably the scariest thing for an athlete Yes, that is unknown.

Given his suspension, Edelman had mixed feelings.

“After all, it was almost a blessing in disguise,” he began.

“But not great,” Edelman quickly added. “No big deal.”

A Wakeup Call Against Titans

Ahead of a Week 10 matchup against the Titans, Brady said he reached out to former teammate (and now Tennessee head coach) Mike Wrabel.

“I remember talking to him the day before against Mike,” Brady said. “I called her on her phone and [he’d] Has been my friend for a long time.”

But as it turned out, it was the Titans of Wrabel who had the last laugh. The Patriots lost 34–10, despite going 7–2 on the winning streak in six games.

“We kicked our a**,” said Brady frankly. “He took it very well on us. He probably played one of the best games he’s played all season, and really embarrassed us.”

The game taught Brady and the Patriots a lesson.

“It showed that if we played poorly, and the other team played really well, they could beat us” [24] Points,” Brady said. “So it just increases your practice, focus, determination, planning, sense of strategy, all those things had to go up.”

“Finally, you’re wrong again”

In 2018, the Patriots didn’t close out the regular season with a typical run of victories like the previous Super Bowl season. Not surprisingly, it was a sign to predictors that New England was not destined to win another championship.

Brady said of the team’s goodbye week, “One of the great advantages that I thought our teams always had was we took advantage of the extra time not to rest, but to get better and improve. “

“There’s a lot of humility in that. You have to be able to address the things we’re not good at,” Brady said. “We go into that postseason and it was like: ‘Yeah, we’re probably not the strongest team on paper.'”

Edelman noted that despite football experts’ skepticism, the Patriots still had enough to earn a bye for a week.

“That’s the crazy expectation factor that we see with New Englanders,” he explained.

“But I was reassured because I was starting to feel better,” Edelman continued. “It was starting to line up for me. When you tore your ACL, you are learning how to walk again, to get your endurance strength up and be able to go out and play week 1 , I don’t know. I didn’t get a chance to play in week 1, but I felt pretty lethargic in week 4, so it allowed me to get ready and ready for December and January. That’s when I started to peak. “

The Patriots immediately sent off the Chargers in Divisional Round 41-28. Brady admitted that he tasted proving the predictions wrong.

“It’s cool for me to take a subtle shot every now and then, just to make sure people know, ‘Yeah, I can hear you, but in the end it’s not going to affect [me], and in the end, you are wrong again.'”

AFC Championship

Before covering the AFC Championship, Brady added an interesting callback to the Patriots’ remarkable loss to Kansas City in 2014 (a game that became famous for being low-point before that year’s Super Bowl run).

“We were there in 2014, and we didn’t play well and they destroyed us. It was the loudest sound I could ever remember at a football stadium,” Brady said. “I am glad I went through that experience because When we went there for the playoffs, the AFC Championship, I knew how intense it was going to be at the start of the game. So there was no threat.”

Watching the back-and-forth game, Edelman had a dramatic miss from a pivotal moment. Trailing in the fourth quarter, it appeared the Chiefs had stopped Brady on a deflected pass. It would seal all but the trip to Kansas City for the Super Bowl.

“I was never scared [in] until that game [the would-be interception], ” admitted Edelman. “Then I’m sitting there, ‘We really lost this f****** game? Damn it, this offseason sucks.'”

Fortunately for the Patriots, an offside penalty by defensive lineman Dee Ford negated the interception, handing the ball back to New England.

“Then I saw the flag, oh we’re back, let’s go,” Edelman recalled happily. New England made the most of their second chance.

In the end, the Patriots emerged victorious in overtime 37–31 and Super Bowl-bound.

Belichick’s Good and Bad

Brady and Edelman both voiced to play for Belichick.

“Coach Belichick and I had a really great relationship for so many years, but it was always player-coach,” Brady said. “He was the football coach there. I went there to play football. He always said there’s no one better than you to play quarterback for our team, and that’s how I felt about him as a coach.”

“I loved the way he kept us focused on the biggest moments and here we were again in the biggest moments,” Brady said of going into Super Bowl LIII, saying.

Edelman was more forthright.

“I mean Bill is a very tough guy to play,” he explained. “It seemed like the more popular you were, the better you were doing, the more he’d want to knock you down a little bit.

“He demands a lot from you, and you hate him sometimes, but then I mean, you love him a little bit,” Edelman said.

Brady’s comparison to the Super Bowls

In the eighth episode of the documentary (which covered the Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles), Brady stated that despite the Patriots’ ability to score points, he never really felt like the team had control of the game.

But in Super Bowl LIII, Brady did the opposite of his experience, while New England was less effective on offense.

“For some reason we always felt somewhat in control,” Brady said of playing the Rams in that game. “Even though we were not playing well, we kept getting field positions, we kept moving the ball, we were on the right ledge.

“If you contrast with last year where we were steadily moving [the ball] Down the field and scoring points, and constantly receiving the ball in the end zone, I still felt the game was not in our control,” Brady said.

Ultimately, the Patriots “find ways to adjust to the fourth quarter of the game,” as Brady explained.

New England made enough plays and held on for the sixth Super Bowl of the Brady-Belichick era.

Belichick. last word on

In the final moments of the episode, Brady jumped ahead (before the end of the 2019 season) to his final thoughts of playing for Belichick before leaving as a free agent in 2020.

“We found a wonderful working relationship together and I think he was the best coach I could have ever asked for,” Brady said. “We had our challenges in different moments, but those were just moments.

“They didn’t define what the relationship was,” Brady said. “Finally we accomplished things that no one had ever done in NFL history.”