NFL defenders, coaches share what it’s like to face the G.O.A.T.

Morris found himself in a similar situation last season when, as the Rams’ defensive coordinator, he watched Los Angeles go 27-3 over Brady and the Buccaneers midway through the third quarter of the divisional playoffs. Then it happened. again.

Brady led Tampa Bay to a 24-point streak to tie the game with 42 seconds left. The story itself goes like this: Morris Experiences Brady Heartbreak Again!

Unless he doesn’t. Back-to-back passes from Matthew Stafford and Cooper Cooper combined for 20 and 44 yards to set up the decisive field goal with 4 seconds left.

“It would have been a cool story for you guys, but I’m glad you didn’t get a chance to write it,” Morris said with a laugh. “To be honest, that Super Bowl loss wasn’t on my mind. There’s no doubt about it. [was] presented before the game. When you talk to your people about continuing to fight, you will definitely use it to prepare. But once the game starts, if you think about it, he already has an advantage over you. “

Morris, like many others, was enthusiastic about Brady’s praise. He saw something special about him the first time he played against him in the 2005 season. Morris, the assistant defensive backs coach for the Bucs defense, will be No. 1 in scoring this year and No. 8 overall.

“He stood in the pocket and looked comfortable and the passing around him was absolutely absolute. We had Simon Rice and Derek Brooks blitz in the A’s. He stood in the pocket and didn’t back down, put the ball It’s on the court. You” rethink yourself, “Man, this guy is different.” Who knows, twenty years from now, in 2022, you’ll still be talking about this guy that way? He is excellent. He’s a goat”

That makes the chance against him different from competing against anyone else — dare we say it, special — especially if this is his final season.

“Having him come back could be a farewell tour and give everyone a chance to appreciate his greatness,” Morris said. “It’s going to be something you can look back on, of course, as a coach or a player, or whoever has to prepare for him and know that’s a special moment. You’re talking about Michael Jordan in our game, ‘We play in Bailey. You’re talking about the greatest player. He’s someone you tell your kids you play and compete with, and you’re one of the few who actually beat him. It’s special. “

Browns safety John Johnson played Brady more than 21 months ago, but the details are as clear to him as they were then. Right for the Rams at the time, he enticed Brady to take an uncharacteristically bad pitch, and rightly so for Johnson.

“It hit me in the chest and … I fell,” Johnson said. “It was a six – completely open, untouched. After the game, I was like, ‘Damn, this is probably the only chance I have to pick Tom.’ Now the opportunity comes up again and I’ll definitely stand for that game. Get up. I’m not forcing anything. Just if you can get a player who’s arguably the greatest of all time, that’s great.. I’ll take that ball home, frame it, and no one touches it.”

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