Tom Brady may have experienced the toughest offseason of his Hall of Fame career, even harder than when the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback was rehabbing from a torn ACL in the 2009 offseason. Having knee surgery in your mid-40s is no picnic, even for an athlete in excellent shape like Brady. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback discussed all the work he put in to get back into football shape on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday — and the ever growing challenges he faced along the way. 

“You know, it was a tough offseason in terms of the rehab,” Brady said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “But I feel like I’m really just now kind of feeling — not from a rehab standpoint but from a football standpoint — like you know my legs are feeling bouncy and ready to go. My arm’s feeling live. I think that’s the hard thing.

“When you miss time and you don’t continue to train the way you’re capable of training, it’s tough because your body just wants to, you know, it feels like, ‘Ok, I get time off.’ And then when you get your body going again, it’s hard. You’re body’s like, ‘No, no, no, no. We’re not working out. We’re chilling.’ You know and I’m trying to get it going and it just doesn’t want to do it. 

“So I’ve had to push through different things and even the early part of training camp, just getting my legs under me and getting my football legs.”

Brady, Gronk and the gang are back. Are the Bucs ready to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again? Download the CBS Sports app to get up-the-minute updates on the defending champs. Favorite the Bucs now if you’ve already downloaded the CBS Sports app so you don’t miss a thing.

Brady hasn’t set a timetable for when he will actually retire from the game, even though it’s fair to wonder if this offseason took a major toll on him. The Buccaneers vying to repeat as Super Bowl champions is enough motivation for Brady to return in 2021, but that’s not the only reason he continues to put his body through the grind of an NFL season. 

“Again, when it’s 95 [degrees], you got pads on and the helmet and you’re reading coverages, and the mental strain and the day-after-day and the sleep, it’s just a lot of football conditioning that needs to happen,” Brady said. “Even for somebody that’s been doing it as long as me, it’s always a challenge. 

“I think that’s why I love the sport. It’s a continuous mental, physical, emotional challenge. You have to bring it every day.”

As long as Brady continues to love his day job, he’ll be suiting up for the Buccaneers on fall Sundays. Once football doesn’t become fun anymore, perhaps that’s the sign Brady will cap his legendary career. 

This offseason was certainly a test for the G.O.A.T.