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Tom Brady explains return to Buccaneers: 'I had the appetite to compete, and it's going to be gone soon'

Tom Brady's retirement, as we all know, lasted a Biblical 40 days.

But unlike the 40 days and nights of the written text, Brady didn't spend his time fasting in the desert. He did, however, eventually find himself hungry for competition.

"We had quite a bit of time together," Brady said of his time spent with his wife, Gisele, during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show. "And I think mostly when I kind of told the team, look, like you know guys gotta make plans without me. And then [general manager] Jason [Licht] and [former coach] Bruce [Arians] said just give it time, you know? I said, look, you know, I feel pretty strongly.

"Then time went by and you just get super competitive. I think I'm part crazy. I mean, I think that's the reality. Forty-five years old and I'm out here with a lot of young guys that are trying to take my head off. I see Aaron Donald work out on my Instagram, and I'm like, damn, maybe I should've stayed retired because he's a beast. But I had the appetite to compete, and it's going to be gone soon. I mean, there's no doubt about it and I gotta, you know, just really appreciate the time I have left because it's not a lot."

Brady is already well past his expiration date, but he's not sticking around on the strength of industrial-grade preservatives. His pliability-focused approach has become well known, and with the combination of a strict diet (no strawberries, folks), it has allowed him to continue playing at a high level well beyond the 40-year-old mark.

Eventually, though, Brady will walk away. He temporarily did so this offseason. And a lucrative broadcasting job awaits him with Fox Sports.

The new occupation will require another significant shift in approach, though it won't be entirely unfamiliar. Brady will just be on the other side of the table.

"Because I'm most familiar with that, just based on the fact that I've been in every production meeting for 22 years since I started playing in 2001," Brady said of preparing for games as an analyst in the future. "I know what those guys are asking, I know what they're asked to do. And I think it very much feels like a team that goes on the road to prepare for a game.

"There's a lot of learning curve, obviously. It's going to be a totally new career. It's a new opportunity for me to try something that I'm going to work really hard to prepare to be as good as I could possibly can be. Knowing that, the day that I walk on the set for the first time won't be my finest moment. There'll be a lot of growing pains and I'll have to learn to be really good at it, but I also think there's part of it that excites me.

"I just have had so much experience and if I can help people around the way, talking to coaches, talking to players. I love the sport of football and I get to be in it. So, I think that's what mostly I got excited about. And I think part of retiring for a very brief period of time was I got to explore a lot of other opportunities. And things had just came up and this was the one that really excited me the most. In the end, although it was kind of abrupt, it ended being very… I'm happy I went through it."

A 22-year career has taught Brady more lessons about football than most anyone else on this planet. But new ones await him in a different setting. It's just a matter of time before he'll officially step from one side to the other.

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