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New England Patriots Links 4/13/11 - Belichick Talks About Brady 'Red Flag' In 2000 Draft

<em>Tom Brady will never stop looking over his shoulder; never stop trying to be the best</em>.
Tom Brady will never stop looking over his shoulder; never stop trying to be the best.

Christopher Price shares some of his thoughts on ESPN's 'The Brady 6'.

1. Bolstered by exclusive interviews with five of the six quarterbacks (hence the name of the hourlong documentary) who were taken before Tom Brady in the 2000 draft (as well as Brady himself, his father, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick), it provided some real insight into Brady’s fire, his motivation and what really makes him great. He’s had a chip on his shoulder about his abilities since he was in high school, and has turned that intensity into a surefire ticket to the Hall of Fame. And the shot of him tearing up when it came to his draft day wait was fascinating television. We’ve always known that he’s leaned on his family for support over the years, but for him to mention his father and mother and what they did for him in that moment was especially telling.

2. No one is better at seizing an opportunity than Brady. The quarterback was stacked against the six guys who were taken in front of him, and many of them — including Tee Martin and Spergon Wynn — confessed in Tuesday’s show that they were not ready when they were called upon as young quarterbacks. In addition, few are more confident in their abilities. Not in a cocky way, but especially confident. There was the oft-told story of his first meeting with Kraft, but Brady’s college teammate Aaron Shea recalled how Brady told him before the fall of 2001 he was going to take Drew Bledsoe’s job.

3. It was great to see the video of the 2000 Hall of Fame Game between the Patriots and 49ers. In a contest that was better known at the time as being the "Monday Night Football" debut of Dennis Miller, it was a game that served to illuminate the differences between Brady and Giovanni Carmazzi. Video from the game had Carmazzi scrambling to avoid sacks and generally looking unprepared. As for Brady, he looked smooth and relatively polished. The quotes from Belichick regarding that game were especially illuminating: "I think we walked out of that game feeling that we probably had taken the right guy."

4. The relationship between Brady and Belichick is always fascinating — over the years, the two have come to share an eerily similar mindset when it comes to football — and there’s a new layer revealed here. Belichick says that keeping Brady around in 2000 was a "wasted roster spot," but confessed to being worried that they would lose him if they did anything else with him like put him on the practice squad. In addition, Belichick said that Brady had a better training camp and preseason than Bledsoe in 2001, but that they went with Bledsoe to start the season because of Brady’s relative inexperience. ...

Jeff Howe notes Bill Belichick revealed what kept him from selecting Tom Brady earlier in the 2000 Draft.

While looking back to April 2000, head coach Bill Belichick appeared dumbfounded that Michigan quarterback Tom Brady could still be on the board when the Patriots were approaching their fifth-round pick.

But Belichick had to rationalize for a moment. He recalled Brady's collegiate career, in which he was a masterful quarterback as a junior and a team captain as a senior. Yet, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr kept yanking the starting job away from Brady during his senior season, instead favoring highly touted prospect Drew Henson.

Belichick said he could only go by what he saw of Brady on film, but the fact that Brady couldn't keep his job was a red flag. Why, Belichick wondered, did they keep trying to replace him?

"We saw Tom time and again his senior year start the game off well, and so many times Tom would come back in, and rescue the situation, and pull out the win for Michigan against great competition, the biggest game," Belichick said Tuesday on ESPN's hour-long special, The Brady 6.