NFL

Tom Brady is the GOAT

Robert Saleh has dealt with the unenviable task of game planning to stop elite quarterbacks throughout his coaching career. From Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl to Russell Wilson twice a year, Saleh saw it all during his time as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator.

One signal-caller stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the best Saleh has ever seen, though, and it’s easy to understand why.

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers come to MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Brady is more than familiar with making trips to East Rutherford, but Week 17 will be the first time he plays the Jets =as a member of the Bucs. Saleh is ready to take on the task of slowing Brady down, but stifling the quarterback is easier said than done.

“He’s phenomenal,” Saleh said Wednesday. “Just watching his tape [Tuesday], I’m in absolute awe of his pocket presence, his footwork, just all of it. His decision-making. He’s an absolute stud and no question the greatest that’s ever played the position. Anyone who questions it, just look at the amount of rings he has.”

Brady has been his usual dominant self in his 22nd season, throwing for 4,580 yards and 37 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions. The Buccaneers are 11-4 and Brady is an MVP favorite with his team having a legitimate chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

“He’s literally twice my age. I think I was in the womb when he was in college,” rookie Jason Pinnock said. “It’s Tom Brady. It’s a tremendous opportunity. I’m a young guy, to go up against the wise old GOAT, I’m looking forward to it.”

Week 17 is meaningless for the Jets in the sense that they’re 4-11 and dead last in the AFC East. The chance to play a future Hall of Fame quarterback doesn’t come around all that often, though, giving New York some added incentive to put its best foot forward when Tampa Bay comes to town.

“If you ever wanted to see what a coach would look like if he still had the ability to play, well, there he is. Tom,” Saleh said. “He’s playing better than he’s ever played. He looks phenomenal.”

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