It wasn’t all that long ago (at least depending on how you view 2000), that Tom Brady was an afterthought in the NFL Draft as the 199th overall pick in the sixth round. No one spends a lot of time talking about sixth-round quarterbacks.
It’s quickly forgotten the Brady we know today entered the league in complete anonymity. His rise to two-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time Super Bowl champion and likely Hall of Famer — and his sustained level of play as arguably the NFL’s best quarterback — is largely taken for granted considering his inauspicious beginning.
Eric Mangini was around for those early Brady years in New England, first as defensive backs coach (2000-04) and then defensive coordinator (2005). During a recent live chat on NFL.com, Mangini recollected working against Brady during post-practice sessions and what stood out in the young quarterback.
“The one thing you saw consistently, though, was his determination, his work ethic, his character,” Mangini said. “You felt strongly that he was going to continue to improve. I don’t think anyone initially thought he would be the Tom Brady we know today, but you could see the attributes he had and how he was using those to improve. He became the QB that he is because of his work ethic.
“I would imagine people take that for granted. What I appreciate about Tom is that he stayed the same grounded, good person, regardless of how much success he’s had.”
Check out the entire Mangini chat transcript here.