Troy Aikman isn’t buying Tom Brady’s push for less practice time

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All gas, no brake. Jets head coach Robert Saleh used that catchphrase to represent how hard his team would work this year.

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shares that sentiment. He has made a name for himself as one of the hardest-working players in the NFL — he even got kicked out of a park working out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is why it was surprising when Brady told players that that they should spend less time working out during the offseason.

“We shouldn’t have overly competitive drills in May and June,” Brady told the Boston Globe. “There’s no (bleeping) pro baseball player that’s throwing 95 mph in the middle of December.”

But Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, who was originally “shocked” by the comments, eventually realized Brady was pulling a trick.

“I realized, that’s the greatness of Tom Brady, because I can assure you, he’s not taking those days off and that team is not taking those days off. And so he views it as a total competitive advantage,” Aikman said on The Ringer’s “Flying Coach” podcast. “If teams are practicing less and he’s practicing more, that’s going to give him a leg up on the competition, and I think that was really the whole motivation in his comments.”

It wouldn’t be surprising. Brady is a seven-time Super Bowl champion who has taken no shortcuts in his career. He rarely takes a day off — this offseason, he is back sooner than expected following knee surgery — so if his competitors are, Brady is gaining ground as he goes for his eighth title.

“I’m all for getting rested,” Aikman said. “I’m all for all those things, but at some point you have to pose the question: Do you want to be great or do you not? Do you want to be a great team? Do you want to be a great player? And if you do, that means you have to put in the time.”

Brady, to his credit, may have provided a hint that he was blowing smoke on a recent appearance on HBO’s “The Shop.”

“What I say and what I think are two different things,” Brady said. “I would say 90 percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking, which is challenging. I really admire people that actually can do that and say what they think because they invite a lot of other things. I think there’s part of me that doesn’t like conflict. So in the end, I always try to play it super flat.”

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