Just three months after he first joined the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick had to maneuver through the NFL’s first draft of the new millennium. The 2000 class is notable for producing Tom Brady, who went on to lead the organization to six Super Bowl wins and is still going strong as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was just one of the players to arrive in New England that spring.
The first man to hear his name called by Belichick’s team back then was not Brady — he had to wait until the famous 199th selection in the sixth round — but rather an offensive tackle out of Hawaii: Adrian Klemm.
Klemm’s time with the Patriots was nothing to write home about, but he is currently in the process of successfully building a nice second career. As was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport earlier this week, after all, the now-43-year-old has been named the Pittsburgh Steelers’ new offensive line coach after having served as the team’s assistant O-line coach for the past two years.
KIemm’s coaching career began shortly after his playing career in the NFL came to an end — one that started on draft day 2000.
After not being able to make a pick in the first round due to the circumstances of Belichick leaving the New York Jets to come to the Patriots, the club picked Klemm 46th overall in the second. He went on to spend five seasons with the team and was part of its first three world championship squads, but saw comparatively limited playing time along the way: Klemm appeared in just 26 games in New England, starting 10.
In 2005, Klemm left the Patriots to join the Green Bay Packers. He did start his first eight games with the team but was eventually replaced and after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury the following summer saw his 2006 season and career come to an end.
One year after announcing his retirement, however, Klemm found a new job. Joining his former college coach, June Jones, at SMU, he worked his way through the ranks from graduate assistant to offensive line coach and recruiting director. In 2012, he took his talents to UCLA where he served in a variety of roles — from O-line coach, to run game coordinator, to associate head coach.
A fast riser in coaching circles, Klemm returned to the NFL in 2019 to assist offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett in Pittsburgh. He held that role for two years, and was now picked to succeed his former boss whose contract was not renewed following the 2020 campaign.
Klemm’s playing career might have been rather underwhelming despite him earning three Super Bowl rings, but he is building a solid résumé as a coach. Of course, Patriots fans would rather not see him add any jewelry to his trophy case anytime soon.