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To most, the only thing that was more surprising than Tom Brady walking away from the NFL was that the quarterback spent just a month in retirement before deciding to do an about-face and return to the game. While the league may have been thrown for a loop by Brady's decision to come out of retirement, the coach that spent over a decade with him in New England in Josh McDaniels told reporters at the annual league meeting on Monday that he was "not surprised" by how things played out. 

"Whatever he chooses to do, he deserves the opportunity to choose what he wants to do and how he wants to do it," McDaniels said, via Pro Football Talk. "I just think I see a guy that's playing at an extremely high level. Super competitive. And at this age, nobody's really done this before. So to see him playing at that level and walk away, I think all of us would've been a little sad on opening day had that been the case.

"But knowing him like I do, how competitive he is, if he can still do it at a high level, if he can still compete to win championships, it doesn't shock me that he came back."

Tom Brady
TB • QB • 12
CMP%67.5
YDs5316
TD43
INT12
YD/Att7.39
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As McDaniels noted, Brady did play at an extremely high level in 2021 as he led the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He also completed 67.5% of his passes, which was the second-highest of his career and only looking up to his record-breaking campaign in 2007. Not too shabby for a 44-year-old. 

Brady has long pointed to age 45 as his final season, so it was a bit surprising when he decided to walk away from the game just a year short and still playing like one of the elite quarterbacks in the game. Brady himself seemed to realize that as well, noting in his announcement that he was coming back that "my place is still on the field and not in the stands."

Fortunately for McDaniels, his Raiders will not face the Buccaneers in 2022, so he won't have to feel the immediate wrath of his former quarterback as he possibly goes on one last run with Tampa Bay.