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Licht says it was obvious early in Brady’s career that he’d be special

Brady AP

On the same day that the Buccaneers introduced Jason Licht as the team’s new G.M., he carved out a few minutes of his busy schedule to join Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.

The full interview, as played during Friday’s PFT Live, contained an intriguing anecdote from Licht’s days as a scout with the Patriots.

During his tenure in New England, the Pats used a sixth-round draft pick on a quarterback named Tom Brady.  In his second season, an injury opened the door for Brady to play.  But when did it first become obvious that Brady would be a special player?

“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 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 right,” Licht said.  “And that story about him going up and shaking Mr. Kraft’s hand and saying this is the best pick you’ve ever made, that is true and obviously the guy is confident.”

So who was the coach that Brady shouted at?

“I wouldn’t say shouting match,” Licht said with a laugh (even though he’d said “shouting match”), “but just a regular coach-player disagreement.  I’ll keep that to myself.”

Licht surely would love to find another Brady in Tampa.  For now, it’s unclear whether the 2014 starting quarterback currently is in the building.

“Well, we’re going to have to come together with our evaluation for the team and unfortunately I’ve only had a couple of hours to really dig into this so I need to continue doing that the next couple of days, the next week, and then get together with Lovie [Smith] and figure out where we are together,” Licht said.  “But I will tell you this from what I’ve seen so far, I am impressed with the young kid at quarterback.  I think he’s got three things that you look for in a quarterback.  He’s an accurate passer, he’s very smart, and he’s very tough.  It’s hard to judge a guy in his rookie year.”

The young kid is Mike Glennon.  And maybe his best strategy for 2014 will be to get into a shouting match — or at a minimum a “regular player-coach disagreement” — as soon as possible.

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34 Responses to “Licht says it was obvious early in Brady’s career that he’d be special”
  1. brazin99 says: Jan 25, 2014 1:15 PM

    Hmmm how soon we have forgotten about the likes of Sidney Rice and a few others who’s season has come to an early end. Yet Sid’s still out there with his band of brothers cheering them on and helping anway he can. #classact

  2. stew48 says: Jan 25, 2014 1:19 PM

    An extremely good article. Thank you!

  3. CKL says: Jan 25, 2014 1:19 PM

    Epically funny picture of TB…good find! My guess on the coach he hollered at is Weis.

  4. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Jan 25, 2014 1:24 PM

    “I got my first inkling we had something special on our hands when we won three Super Bowls in four years.”

  5. vusnu says: Jan 25, 2014 1:27 PM

    I’m not a big Bucs fan per se, but Lovie and Jason seem like a couple of good guys. I hope for their sake the Bucs become a feel good story in the next couple of years.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 25, 2014 1:40 PM

    Well I grew up watching Tom Brady and he’s part of the reason why I went to U of M. My dad was a huge U of M football nut and he got me into this game and we were in awe with what we saw in Tom Brady when he played. I didn’t scout any other QBs at the time and Tom Brady was the only QB I knew and my dad and I talked all season long about how he would be the most likely new Lions QB considering he’s from Michigan and my dad was telling me how he wasn’t considering the highest profile prospect and if he goes under the radar then naturally the home team is going to have the best advantage to scoop him up or even know who their local school players are. We watched that draft and every round from 2 on my dad was talking about how we should draft Tom Brady and I was excited and every round the Lions passed on him. My father PROMISED me that if he kept dropping due to some fortunate luck that he would be guaranteed to be a Lion, and we sat there watching every pick waiting for the Lions to get him. When NE drafted him my dad basically cried and then naturally had to explain to me how and why this happened and how his promise didn’t hold up. I said how is this possible, you and I both thought he was the greatest, he’s in Michigan, and hello we are Detroit??? My dad just shook his head in sadness and was completely defeated at that moment and he just said I don’t know what to say or how to explain how that happens, but it did and he’s going to be a good one, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.

    He was right.

  7. indywilson40 says: Jan 25, 2014 1:51 PM

    And now he is sitting on his very special couch.

  8. bennyb82 says: Jan 25, 2014 1:53 PM

    The thing that cannot be understated about Brady is his work ethic. So many times we are made to think players are born with the skills they have…but that is really not the case. In order to be great, you have to not think about being great and instead focus on the intricate aspects that give your team the upper hand.

  9. micknangold says: Jan 25, 2014 2:10 PM

    I think Lovie’s walking into the best situation of any new head coach. Glennon played really well under the radar last year, looks like he could be the real deal. That defense is damn good and with him coaching it up it’ll be even better, and having a healthy 0-line all year will see that offense improve dramatically. Sleeper playoff contender team for next year.

  10. thisdamnbox says: Jan 25, 2014 2:14 PM

    Tom Brady is from San Mateo, CA and grew up idolizimg Joe Montana. He only went to college in Michigan.

  11. csilojohnson says: Jan 25, 2014 2:24 PM

    It was obvious early in Brady’s career that he would become the face of Uggs.

  12. realfootballfan says: Jan 25, 2014 2:30 PM

    People always seem amazed by these revelations but I remember during that training camp before the 2000 season the word was that Brady was outplaying Bledsoe in practice, and despite his obvious infancy in the offense, when he came in for that team when Bledsoe got hurt in the 2000 season, he instantly made the offense more functional because he was getting the ball out of his hands. The only reason people scoffed at the notion was because Bledsoe was the $100 man, and he was a 6th round pick; however, unlike a lot of “the backup is better” stories (see Cousins, Kirk), Brady actually did make a light and day difference as soon as he took over.

  13. bucinnj says: Jan 25, 2014 2:51 PM

    Cool story expert, appreciate the share. Made me think about being young and talking football with my own Dad.

  14. steelcurtainn says: Jan 25, 2014 4:09 PM

    Those were the days. Now its pack up and go home.

  15. fearthehoody says: Jan 25, 2014 4:27 PM

    As a Pats fan since 1994 (9 years old) I’ve spent my teenage and 20’s enjoying the Greatest QB of all-time! Who knows what the future holds, but I will always enjoy those years!

  16. tigerlilac says: Jan 25, 2014 4:29 PM

    The one guy that was pro Bledsoe up to and even after the first Super Bowl win was Boston Globe columnist Ron Borges. Borges ragged on Brady and especially Belichick for letting the better QB lose his job due to an injury and not getting it back when he was well enough to play. Drew did get to play in the AFC Championship game that year when Brady hurt and ankle, and wound up with a great victory against the Steelers in Pittsburgh to end his Patriots career. Brady is still underrated and played much better in this year’s AFC Championship than he is given credit (just go back and watch every play).

  17. beardinals says: Jan 25, 2014 4:33 PM

    Licht is supposed to be the real deal. Tampa Bay is probably lucky to have him. Congrats.

  18. mattiewu says: Jan 25, 2014 4:44 PM

    This is bout Tampa bay , not Tom lady. He is so great they haven’t won a big game in 9-10 yrs. Hello let stop talking bout him, he is no longer relevant…. Lets talk bout the young players that have a chance to pave their own way while Brady rides off with nothing left but a bunch of wht ifs……………

  19. bigwii says: Jan 25, 2014 5:09 PM

    I’ve been a fan my whole life and I always enjoy watching Brady out there it never gets old. One of the greatest to ever throw a football. He gets a bad rep because he doesn’t cater to a national audience like Manning, but he’s great to his fans in New England.

    He’s a class act and a great competitor, people say he’s a jerk but so was Jordan and Red. All the greats were competitive and wanted to win just like Brady.

    As far as the Pats in the future they’re in good hands they’re not going anywhere when Brady leaves, sorry Hate Nation.

  20. brazzz01 says: Jan 25, 2014 5:10 PM

    Hello let stop talking bout him, he is no longer relevant….

    —–

    And that’s why you clicked on a story about Tom Brady and commented on it. Because he’s no longer relevant.

    Makes sense.

  21. brazzz01 says: Jan 25, 2014 5:11 PM

    Brady had the passion for the game and the and drive to get better.

    Bledsoe never did on both counts.

    That’s why both ended up where they did.

  22. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 25, 2014 5:36 PM

    mattiewu says:

    This is bout Tampa bay , not Tom lady. He is so great they haven’t won a big game in 9-10 yrs. Hello let stop talking bout him, he is no longer relevant….
    _______________

    SMH

    Hasn’t won the Super Bowl but won 2 AFC Championships and got to the Super Bowl twice, and got to the AFCC the last 2 years as well.

    Has won plenty of big games and remains more relevant that 95% of the players in the league.

    Not sure which team you’re a fan of but unless its the Seahawks, Denver or the 9ers your team is by definition less relevant than the Pats and Brady this year.

  23. brazzz01 says: Jan 25, 2014 5:39 PM

    “The best day of my year was always the day after the season when we landed in Whitefish and I could feel myself exhale. Like the pressure was lifted off my shoulders – a physical feeling when we would get into Whitefish. I always looked forward to that day every year and it never let me down.”
    —— Drew Bledsoe

    “….The worst day of my year was always that last day of my summer. I would sit on the dock at my house on Whitefish Lake with my legs dangling in the water before I would fly back on the plane to training camp,”

    —— Drew Bledsoe

    Translation: “Football is a chore to me, not a passion”

    Like I said, that’s why Bledsoe’s career ended up where it did. Loads of talent but the passion just wasn’t there. When a guy like Brady came along, it was only a matter of time before Drew was shown the door.

  24. ravenswhat says: Jan 25, 2014 5:56 PM

    The next Brady is the kid from Alabama. Same smarts and flying under the radar.

  25. bubbaword says: Jan 25, 2014 5:59 PM

    I think we should stop talking about how wonderful he is. He’s choked in every big playoff game in the last 7 years. Had he hit a wide open Welker in the last SB they would have won that game. Both Eli and Peyton make that play every time. The man has been given his due accolades but it is time to move on. Is Mallett the guy, perhaps it is time to find out, no more rings for Brady?

  26. jbsptfn says: Jan 25, 2014 6:17 PM

    Another thing that is forgotten is that the Pats signed Bledsoe to a 10-year deal in March, 2001. Going by that, I am not sure how close Tom was to becoming the starter.

  27. johnnycantread says: Jan 25, 2014 6:28 PM

    Special?… Hmm…
    That’s like saying that a valedictorian is special after you find out he stole the answer key for every exam from the teacher’s desk.

  28. worknman24hours says: Jan 25, 2014 6:54 PM

    You can hate Tom Brady because he’s a winner but you can’t hate him because he it was given to him.

    That guy loves football and it shows.

    With his players next to him and his coaches backing them up, they’ve earned the dynasty they’ve become.

    Maybe another Super Bowl next year.

    I wouldn’t count Tom and the boys out.

  29. johnnycantread says: Jan 25, 2014 7:26 PM

    They put the “nasty” in “dynasty”.

  30. bostonisthebestandyouallsukk says: Jan 25, 2014 7:47 PM

    The fact that the Pats, with arguably the best QB/HC combination in NFL history, and with loads of stockpiled high round draft picks, have not won a Super Bowl in a decade is incomprehensible. I fear the team’s legacy will be not what they won, but what they didn’t win. Hope it’s not too late.

  31. btkoten says: Jan 25, 2014 7:48 PM

    “I knew he’d be good as soon as we showed him the defensive signals of every team in the league and introduced him to Ernie Adams”

    #Spygate

  32. brazzz01 says: Jan 25, 2014 7:52 PM

    The fact that the Pats, with arguably the best QB/HC combination in NFL history, and with loads of stockpiled high round draft picks, have not won a Super Bowl in a decade is incomprehensible. I fear the team’s legacy will be not what they won, but what they didn’t win. Hope it’s not too late.

    —–

    The last time their defense was good was 2004. The last year they won a Super Bowl.

    #notacoincidence

  33. giantssb42champs says: Jan 25, 2014 7:59 PM

    bostonisthebestandyouallsukk says: Jan 25, 2014 7:47 PM

    The fact that the Pats, with arguably the best QB/HC combination in NFL history, and with loads of stockpiled high round draft picks, have not won a Super Bowl in a decade is incomprehensible. I fear the team’s legacy will be not what they won, but what they didn’t win. Hope it’s not too late.

    _______________________

    Agreed (about the incomprehensible part). In 2004 seemed like this team was poised to win another 3 SBs at least.

  34. realfootballfan says: Jan 25, 2014 8:19 PM

    Actually, their defense was very good in 2006, the year that Peyton made that comeback against them in the AFC championship game to save his legacy. The problem since 2004 has alternated between their offensive weapons being horrible to today, their defense not being championship level like the ones that were the backbone of their 3 Super Bowl runs. Basically, they and Green Bay have the same story of wasting great QB play because their defenses stink. In order for Brady to win one more, Bellichick will have to find a defensive gem, which he hasn’t since he’s been in New England. He’s definitely found very good and even great players like Seymour and Wilfork, but players like he inherited on that roster such as those LBs like Vrabel or the great CBs like Law that always bailed them out, he has not found one yet.

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