Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has admirers among Detroit Red Wings
Bobby Ryan knows and understands what it takes to get into professional sport, achieve some level of success, and stay in the game for a few years.
The veteran Red Wings striker had an admirable career in the NHL and, in his 14th season, a career that young players would dream of.
But then, in Sunday’s Super Bowl, there’s Tampa quarterback Tom Brady.
And Ryan and many professional athletes like him can only shake their heads in amazement.
“You give him your cap for years 12-15 and when you get to year 21 you’re just like ‘what happens?'” Said Ryan, 33. “You’re just amazed.”
At the age of 43, Brady is aiming for his seventh Super Bowl win in his freshman year with a new organization, playing at an elite level few in the NFL can match.
And has been for a few years.
“I read an article yesterday about what the rest of his design class are doing,” said Ryan. “The boys are returning to teaching or other business and haven’t been in the league for 10 or 12 years.
“The fact that he continues not only to do it, but at this level is unthinkable.
“I don’t know, I can only speak for myself, but I’m lucky to see him play.”
Brady, of course, had a rocky tenure in Michigan and at times had to share playing time with the younger and much-lauded Drew Henson.
More:Filip Zadina looked forward to returning to the Red Wings line-up: “I’ve lost my head”
When coach Jeff Blashill talks about Brady’s time in Michigan and the character it featured, Blashill thinks this is a good lesson for athletes and non-athletes alike.
“It’s amazing, absolutely amazing that he’s back in the Super Bowl, really amazing,” said Blashill. “It’s actually an incredible story. I speak to many people, many groups, I speak about perseverance, and the two biggest factors in individual success are hard work and perseverance – and he embodies that just like anyone else.
More:Red Wings, NHL continues to take action against viruses
“I’m from Michigan and I followed his career at the University of Michigan. It was never easy for him, and that’s probably why he was so successful because he was never eligible. He is quoted as saying that he wants to earn his place every day and that is why he will ultimately go down as possibly the best ever. “
Not enough time
The Wings are in an eight-game winning streak (0-6-2), and in this shortened NHL regular season they play every other day for two weeks at this current track.
It’s good that they get the chance to get out of the series right away with all the games.
But ironing things out to actually win a game gets harder when games are on the agenda so often.
More:Ex-Red Wings striker Justin Abdelkader signs with the pro team in Switzerland
“Everything goes so fast and you’re on a funk or on a team or me personally and you’re struggling to get the puck on the net. You need reps to get out,” said Ryan. “If you often play at 3pm (Sunday) on a day like today, you can’t work on the details as much as you’d like. You have to move around and take a few shots at the goalie and get a chance to install it (schematics) but otherwise you really save it all the time for the next night.
“That is the disadvantage of our position, but even more this year. We see a lot more videos and the like and that’s where you are right now, that’s the way it is. It’s more difficult, but we have to accept it. “
Goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier (upper body) continues to make progress but is not ready to join the line-up yet. Bernier has missed the last four games after taking the brunt of a collision with Anthony Mantha.
… The wings showed a lot more grit and steadfastness, two words that were often uttered after Wednesday’s disheartening defeat at Friday’s 3-1 defeat in Tampa.
That in itself was a step in a positive direction.
“We played hard, you saw guys all over the ice and it makes a difference,” said striker Dylan Larkin. “When we push and finish them and make it difficult for the goalkeepers and chase after the defenders, they think about it and don’t think so much about insulting and playing with the puck.
“We have to continue this grainy style of play.”
Red wings in panthers
Allusion: 3 p.m., Sunday, BB & T Center, Sunrise, Fla.
TV / radio: FSD / 97.1
Outlook: The Red Wings (2-8-2) and Florida (6-0-2) start a series with two games … The Panthers won both games in Detroit last week, one in overtime … LW Jonathan Huberdeau (4 goals, 8 Assists) and C Aleksander Barkov (4 goals, 7 assists) got off to a good start for Florida.