Byron Leftwich turned 41 last month. He has not played in the NFL since 2012.
Leftwich has spent the past two seasons as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator.
His quarterback in 2020, Tom Brady, turns 44 in August, set a team record with 40 touchdown passes, just won his seventh Super Bowl and plans on returning in 2021 for a 22nd season.
Count Leftwich among those who are amazed.
“Hell no. You just didn’t think it was possible, right?” Leftwich answered when asked on the Huddle & Flow Podcast of NFL Media’s Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche if he thought it was possible for Brady to succeed as he did. “Like, you watched the tape of him and I knew his arm was still live, you know, you could tell me he still got a live arm. So you knew his arm was live. But then you get around it and you’re like, look at that ball. It’s the type of ball that he throws, it’s a friendly ball. It’s a penetrating ball. So it was unique to see him to be able to do all these things, still. Hell, I just turned 41 and I tried . . . and to see him, I’m like, man, just the see how he’s able to still do things the young guys could do.”
Brady will undergo surgery on his left knee, which didn’t seem to bother him in starting all 20 games this season.
“He started this process 20 years ago, you know, 18, 17 years ago, and it’s a testament of hard work, of having an understanding, of having an end goal in mind,” Leftwich said. “And you see all the sacrifices he had to make along the way to be able to play this long. So, I mean, it’s amazing to see him do it, but it’s amazing to see the commitment that it takes to make sure you are capable of playing this long.”