Tom Brady to Throwing Coach: 'Football's Fun Again'

Sam Connon

Tom Brady’s throwing coach, Tom House, said he got an interesting text from the quarterback when tight end Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in April.

“When (Gronkowski) signed, Tom (Brady) texted me and said ‘Football’s fun again,’” House said. “It’s always more fun to work at something you’re having a good time at than it is to work at work.”

House sat down for an interview with GQ on June 22, detailing his personal and working relationships with multiple NFL quarterbacks, including Brady, Drew Brees and others. House said Gronkowski’s decision to reunite with Brady in Tampa Bay is in line with the typical quarterback-receiver relationship he has witnessed over the years.

“What Tom and Drew (Brees) and all these elite guys do is they bring their receivers with them,” House said. “Quarterback-receiver is like pitcher and catcher – you have to be like one mind to make it work.”

House has worked with Brady on his throwing mechanics for almost a decade. While Alex Guerrero has continued to be Brady’s lead nutritionist and personal trainer, House said he primarily provides insight and critique of his throwing motion.

With COVID-19 restricting travel, group workouts and more, House has been unable to join Brady in person since he moved to Tampa Bay. He said the two communicate over Skype and Zoom and send each other videos to continue their working relationship and develop Brady’s game.

Brady took part in group workouts last week, but the throwing coach said the quarterback’s new home – which used to belong to former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter – has a state-of-the-art gym in it.

“I don’t think he’s got a gym that he goes to, but he’s got facilities in the house he’s living in,” House said. “My guess is that Derek Jeter had a gym that’s probably better than anything I’ve ever gone to.”

Two more of Bill Belichick’s former players – Rob Ninkovich and Louis Riddick – broke down Brady’s comments on ESPN’s Get Up on Friday morning. Ninkovich was teammates with Brady in New England from 2009 to 2016, and he said he thinks his former quarterback has been freed a bit now that he’s in Tampa Bay.

“I think (Brady) is embracing the change, the challenge of a new opportunity to go out after 20 years and start all over,” Ninkovich said. “When you look at everything as a whole, he’s excited, he’s very happy to have the opportunity to just start over again.”

Riddick played under Belichick with the Cleveland Browns from 1993 to 1995, and while he didn’t have the same 20-year relationship with the future Hall of Fame coach that Brady did, he said he knows first hand how hard it is to impress him.

“Playing for Bill (Belichick) is not easy,” Riddick said. “He doesn’t care about what you did in the past. It was about ‘What are you going to do now that you got your game ball? You feeling all good about yourself? What are you going to do next week?’ That’s how he is.”

Ninkovich recalled a story of when Belichick gave him a rare compliment at the end of the 2011 season, a year in which he started all 16 games on defense and played in punt and kickoff coverage as well.

“If you’re doing your job and you’re doing it well, Bill is not gonna give you a hug and say ‘Man, you’re doing awesome, you’re doing a great job,” Ninkovich said. “If you’re not doing your job, he’s going to get somebody else in there to do it.”