In an interview with Jim Gray last month, Tom Brady was discussing how he’s managed to play quarterback at a high level as he ages into his 40s. When talking about the inherent violence of playing QB and the unavoidability of getting hit, he told Gray he has gotten very good at sensing when a hit is coming because his “brain is wired for contact.” This did not sit well with a certain former teammate of Brady’s.
“I’ll be honest, and I love Tom, it made me throw up in my mouth a little bit,” ex-Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson told Felger & Mazz yesterday. “It was very irresponsible for Tom to talk like that. ‘My brain’s wired for contact.’” He continued:
So, what, Kevin Turner’s wasn’t? Junior Seau’s wasn’t? Justin Strzelczyk’s brain wasn’t? Andre Waters’ brain wasn’t wired for contact? But yours is? It was very insensitive and I thought irresponsible to talk like that.
Johnson spent his entire 10-year career with New England, winning three Super Bowls with Brady. He is no stranger to talking shit about his ex-teammates—he had to apologize in 2013 for calling Vince Wilfork’s wife ugly. Johnson retired before the 2005 season, and two years later, he opened up to the New York Times’ Alan Schwarz about his struggles with amphetamine addiction and cognitive impairment, both of which he traced back to his playing career. “There’s something wrong with my brain,” he said. “And I know when it started.”