BY NICK ST. DENIS
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's rags-to-riches story has been told time and time again. We all know what the book entails, even though it hasn't been finished yet.
But it seems like every time a coach or executive who was with the team during Brady's first few years reflects on his career, a new anecdote emerges about how the scrawny, undecorated signal-caller out of Michigan showed early signs of greatness before all the success.
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht -- a former Patriots scout -- was the latest to chime in on the topic.
"I would say the first training camp when the coaches were buzzing
that they had never seen a guy as smart and as in tune with the offense
and the defense at the same time," Licht told Pro Football Talk
Friday, "and I just remember he was correcting coaches out on the field
during drills and getting into a shouting match with a particular coach
then going back to the film room and finding out that Tom Brady was
Hindsight is 20/20, so it's easy for someone to say they saw "it" in Brady after he wins three Super Bowls, sets a bunch of records and is already considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game.
But if Brady was calling out coaches for all the right reasons as a fourth-stringer in his first camp, there was apparently something a little different about him.
The fact is, Brady was an unknown coming into the league. He started his collegiate career so far off the depth chart that he had to hire a sports psychologist to help keep him on track. Brady eventually worked his way to the Wolverines' starting gig his final two years only to be drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round.
Brady told Patriots owner Robert Kraft it was the best pick he's ever made.
A year and a game after that, Brady took the reins of New England's offense when Drew Bledsoe went down to injury, and, well you know the rest.