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Kay Adams: Do Tom Brady's haters have any ammo left? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Tom Brady had plenty of opportunities to damage his legacy this season.
After ditching the New England Patriots to sign with the Buccaneers last March, the 43-year-old quarterback easily could have fallen flat in Tampa Bay. He could have struggled to adapt to the Buccaneers' offense and opened the door for critics to say "I told you so" about spurning the greatest dynasty in professional sports.
Instead, Brady overcame some early growing pains to compile one of his best regular seasons ever and lead the Bucs to their first playoff appearance in over a decade. He'll compete in his 14th conference championship game Sunday against Aaron Rodgers' Packers and would reach his 10th Super Bowl with a win in Green Bay.
So, what more is there for the GOAT to prove? NFL Network host (and former Quick Slants co-host) Kay Adams reunited with NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran on a new Patriots Talk Podcast to ponder that same question.
"I think the detractors have very little -- like, there's just no ammo for Brady haters out there with what he's done this year," Adams explained. "You can't say that he's too buttoned up. You can't say that it was Belichick. And he's happy.
"I think that's one thing that this year has done for him. Like, there's very little to go off of when you want to say you don't respect Brady or don't like Brady or (think), 'Brady didn't do it the way that he should have or doesn't handle himself (well).'
"Like, it's really nitpicky now, and I appreciate that. Even a win in Green Bay is going to eliminate that further. Now he can become the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl in two conferences. So, he creates his own legacy as he goes through this uncharted territory, and I respect the hell out of it."
Curran offered a similar take after Brady's Bucs took down Drew Brees' Saints in the NFC Divisional Round, noting that the NFL's oldest non-kicker has set a ridiculous bar of sustained excellence as his contemporaries retire, get injured or fade into obscurity.
Before catching up with Adams to discuss Brady's legacy and the fan bases she's rooting for this weekend, Curran also reacted to Josh McDaniels missing out on the Philadephia Eagles head coach job and explained why he's done an about-face on Philip Rivers.