Pioli takes issue with scouts who claim they knew Brady would be great

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The new book from Gary Myers regarding the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning rivalry has plenty of interesting anecdotes about both players, several of which I’ll be sharing in the coming days. Here’s one that takes direct issue with the recent claim made by former Colts G.M. Bill Polian’s contention that he had a “very high” grade on Brady.

“It’s amazing the number of stories that I hear now of how many people loved Tommy coming out but for whatever reason they weren’t in a position to take him,” former Patriots V.P. of player personnel, former Chiefs G.M., and current Falcons assistant G.M. Scott Pioli told Myers in comments made before Polian’s quotes emerged. “Revisionist history is amazing, but there are a lot of people that have inserted themselves into Tommy’s football life story in order to give themselves credibility.”

The Patriots first began looking at Brady in round three of the 2000 draft, but they had other needs — especially with Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz, and Michael Bishop at quarterback. At pick No. 199 and with Brady clearly the best player left on their board, the Patriots pulled the trigger.

Another team could have taken Brady with any of the other prior selections. Even with Peyton Manning well on his way to becoming Peyton F. Manning, Polian would have been foolish not to pounce in round five on a supposed first-round talent who could have later been traded to another team.

Or, at a minimum, Brady could have been buried on the bench instead of leading the Patriots to multiple postseason wins over Peyton and the Colts.

85 responses to “Pioli takes issue with scouts who claim they knew Brady would be great

  1. Has it not been reported in the book Patrio Reign that they were planning on taking a qb at that slot and decided on Tom Brady over Tim Rattay? If that is the case, they obviously the highest rated player on their board at that point was a qb.

  2. Every team had 5 or 6 shots to draft Brady. Anyone who claims after 15 years to know how great he would be is just looking for their 15 minutes of fame.

  3. Speaking of revisionist history…Bobby Grier was the GM who made the final decision on players for the Patriots at that time and made the Tom Brady selection, not Scott Pioli.

  4. I’m certain that there were people that had much higher opinions of Brady’s value than the slot he was selected, but none of those people happened to be any of the 31 other GMs. Each team that passed on him should analyze the scouting opinions of those that they collected information from that had a higher opinion and reconcile why they passed on that information to favor the choices they did make.

    If any team doesn’t have more than one “significantly pro-Brady” review on file from that season, then they weren’t turning over every rock as part of their process.

    The only thing that matters now for all 32 teams is that today they have confidence in their current GM’s ability to turn over at least as many rocks as it takes to win the next Super Bowl, and then the next one after that, and then…

  5. Polian had everyone right where he wanted them. Pass on sure fire first rounder Tom Brady to later draft Curtis Painter to captain the Suck for Luck campaign. Then cash in a broadcasting paycheck while his old team gets BLOWN OUT OF THE STADIUM in the AFC Championship game.

    Diabolical.

  6. The truth is that nobody KNEW that Brady would be great. The Patriots obviously thought that he MIGHT be kinda good, EVENTUALLY. Anyone that says otherwise is a liar. Kind of like the Belichick hire. I’ll be the first to admit that I did NOT like it when they hired him. All I knew at the time was that he was the grumpy guy from the Browns that was a really good defensive coach. Yeah, I was just slightly wrong on that one.

  7. If Polian lied about this, how tough is it to think he lied about not trying to Suck for Luck before his “forced” retirement

    I gotta think Irsay gave him a pretty nice golden parachute to spend his 70s boosting his ego on ESPN after making sure they could get Luck

    Yet Goodell and the owners refuse to even consider an investigation into whether the Colts were purposefully losing games to secure a franchise QB for the next 15 years

  8. Polian just breathed in too many of Irsay’s drug-laden farts over the years, is all. The simple fact that Brady was drafted 199th proves no one had him rated highly. In a non-stellar year for QBs, Chad Pennington (18th), Giovanni Carmazzi (65th), Chris Redman (75th), Tee Martin (163rd), Marc Bulger (168th) and World famous Spergon Wynn (183rd) were all QBs drafted ahead of Brady!

  9. I was gonna pick him in the 1st round of the 1999 draft….i was way ahead of everyone….i just needed to own a team or be a GM

  10. Chad Pennington of Marshall (18th overall by the New York Jets), Giovanni Carmazzi of Hofstra (65th by the San Francisco 49ers), Chris Redman of Louisville (75th by the Baltimore Ravens), Tee Martin of Tennessee (163rd by the Pittsburgh Steelers), Marc Bulger of West Virginia (168th by the New Orleans Saints) and Spergon Wynn of Southwest Texas State (183rd by Cleveland Browns). Every NFL team had a shot to draft Tom Brady 5 times!!! Obviously no team had him rated above these Quarterbacks…

  11. Brady has never been a great QB. He is nothing but a dink and dunk passer that fit into a system. A dog could do just as well and it doesn’t have thumbs.

  12. 49ers took Giovanni Carmazzi in the 3rd round and Tim Ratty in the 7th. Carmazzi never threw a pass in a regular season game and was out of the NFL in 2 years. I believe that was the last time Walsh got to pick a qb. Brady was a 49ers fan growing up and a huge Joe Montana Fan, so he was pissed. I guess he got the last laugh. And of course, thanks to Mo Lewis for injuring Bledsoe badly enough that Brady had a chance to start.

  13. Without Matt Walsh and the Dorito Dink did anyone really know how “great” Brady would be?

  14. As a college coach, Mike Riley tried to recruit Brady out of high school, but his head coach didn’t want him. Later, as coach of the Chargers, Riley tried to talk GM Bobby Beathard into drafting Brady, but instead Beathard took QB JaJuan Sider.

    The Chargers went 1-15 that year.

  15. Fact is, even the Patriots didn’t know how good Brady was going to be. Otherwise they never would have waited until the 5th round. He did nothing in college to suggest he’d be mentioned among the greatest professional quarterbacks of all time.

    Anyone that says they predicted his success is a liar.

  16. C’mon. NOBODY had him as a first round talent, or he never would have lasted until the 199th pick. What an incredible story he has been, and continues to be. He never forgets he had to climb up from the bottom…..199th pick….4th on the depth chart (7th in college!)…..and if he does forget that, there are lots of people with shovels that would love to throw dirt on him. If he keeps his focus and the Patriots give him some weapons, he may author quite a nice little ending to his career. I don’t see Tom as the type to get fat and happy, and rest on hus laurels.

    Tom M.F. Brady…..every fans revisionist history #1 pick.

  17. I agree Skooter19.. People talking out their a$$ now days because they “knew” he would be great but couldn’t convince their GM to pull the trigger in the 4th or 5th round on their projected “elite” QB

  18. If any other team was so interested in Brady then I wonder why New England was the only NFL team to get into contact with Michigan and talk to Coach Carr about him.

  19. Isn’t this PART of the reason the NFL went on a witch hunt with deflategate?

    Not only did 32 teams technically have the chance to draft the guy the guy, but passed….

    they can’t get rid of him, and he just keeps making them look worse and worse and worse.

    Show me when one man has made so many “brilliant” and monied football minds look so, so stupid.

    His life’s regimen is geared for another 8 years in the league. He took pay cuts to keep a team around him. He studies like a coach. He’s a GOAT, and he ain’t walking off the field any time soon.

    Anecdotal arrogance. Case closed.
    (p.s. Polian also said Brady had no shot at winning an appeal)

  20. Thats interesting Mr Pioli. Quick question, how many of you New England castoffs have had success on your own after leaving Belicheck’s stable? Go ahead, I’ll wait….Furthermore, We know the real reason for the success of the Patriots dynasty has been Brady and Belicheck. But Pioli, Tannenbaum, Licht, Dimitroff, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels and every other position coach that left for a promotion on another team. ALL OF YOU owe Brady and Belicheck half of the money you’ve stolen over the years!

  21. John Friez AND Michael Bishop? What were they thinking about when they took another quarterback? Watch the Brady Six. Only one team asks Lloyd Carr about Brady.

  22. Already having a franchise QB in place is not a credible excuse for passing on Brady FIVE times. Just look to the 2005 draft and Aaron Rodgers. He went in the first round to a team with a HoF QB who still had years of gas. Ask yourself, would those other teams have passed on Rodgers FIVE times?

  23. Polian was trying to make himself look smart with his claim but actually looks dumb for not using at least a fourth or fifth rounder on Brady if what he claims is true. Love that Brady is still giving this clown nightmares to this day.

  24. If that’s the case then Polian should have drafted him and then traded Manning. Just think of the playoff wins and rings he passed up on.

  25. Should’a, could’a would’a! Fact is, no one knows for an absolute fact how a players is going to succeed in the NFL.
    Too many factors play in to any one persons success and it starts at the top. If Tom Brady should have happen to go to Oakland he most probably wouldn’t be Tom Brady. If Tom could of gotten another coach he might not have been Tom Brady. If Tom would have sat on the bench, say behind Manning, he may never have had the chance to be Tom Brady. That is why Tom Brady knows that all this TALK about the “greatest QB” is nonsense – fate is a wonderful thing for us New England Patriots fans.

  26. I think they knew he had a good arm. They just thought his scrawny build wouldn’t hold up. He had some weight that he needed to put on.

  27. The more interesting question is what would have happened to both Belichick and Brady had he not been drafted by the Pats.

    Safe to say neither would have been to 6 Super Bowls since 2001. It could have been Tom Brady, Washington Redskin. (shudder)

  28. I usually agree with MF but it’s ridiculous to say that Polian should have drafted Brady and then traded him. Didn’t Brady only get a shot because Bledsoe went down? How would have Brady developed into what he is now under Manning, who rarely missed a start?

  29. It’s been well-documented that the Pats decided they needed a backup QB to develop, and they sent a scout to check out Brady and some other guy. The scout came back absolutely raving about Brady, so the Pats took him. Belichick said the red flags on Brady were that his coach was trying to get another guy to start over him (Brad Henson?), so teams were saying, what’s the problem? Also, his coach wasn’t pushing him on NFL teams. Also, of course he appeared very unathletic at the combine. But Belichick also said they saw that Brady managed to take his team on some great comebacks, including a RoseBowl (?) victory.

  30. I heard Polian’s comments first hand on Mike & Mike. He emphatically said that he didn’t know Brady would be great. He said the colts had a high grade on Brady.

    If I recall correctly, it was a scout that advocated for Brady; not Pioli. Even the patriots didn’t know Brady would become great. Had Bledsoe not been injured we might not have every found out.

  31. Polian can’t let go.

    It must be killing him that he had the future of the entire Patriots legacy under his fingertips multiple times and he let it slip away..

    Now look what it’s become…

    Sleepless nights Mr. P?

  32. No one knew… Including Pioli and the rest of the Pat’s scouting department. You can’t say to everyone else, “why didn’t you take him earlier if you were so high on him” while you didn’t take him until the 6th round.

    It’s somewhat similar to what happened with Aaron Rodgers. If he was the guy that Green Bay was targeting, they would have moved up to get him. But when nearly everyone else passed him over and he fell in their laps, Ted Thompson said, “Well, if they’re just going to give him to us, let’s take him.”

  33. Even when the Patriots had Tom Brady, they have used draft picks for his backups with mid draft picks. Kevin O’Connell and Ryan Mallet were both third round picks. Polian’s story doesn’t wash. He was a good general manager, but is also a bit of a blowhard.

  34. So, it’s okay to believe the Patriots like Brady a lot but waited because they had other needs. But, if anyone else says that, they have to be lying?

  35. There is exactly one person in the NFL that could see the potential in Tom Brady prior to the 2000 NFL Draft, and that was the late quarterback coach for the New England Patriots, Dick Rehbein.

  36. Bill Polian is a bag of wind who should best be remembered for building teams that lose in the Super Bowl ( Bills 0-4) ( Colts 1-1). He let the Colts Suck for Luck because he never had a quality backup to Manning since Payme tied up the entire Colts salary cap.

    It was the Patriots QB coach Dick Rehbein who was instrumental in the Patriots drafting Brady in 2000. 31 other teams missed on the opportunity to draft the best QB of this century multiple times as we have learned the draft is a crap shoot.

  37. Polian: Another fraud from Indy. Just like their fraud, whiny GM, their fraud crybaby beat writer and their fraud “team”.

    Sucking for Luck will go down as the biggest cheating story ever. Every accomplishment this team makes under Luck’s reign is 100% tarnished because their drafting of him was league sanctioned, institutionalized cheating.

  38. This is worse than Chip Kelly saying he had Odell Beckham as the #1 receiver in last year’s draft.

  39. bdywrks says:
    Sep 25, 2015 12:18 AM
    Did anyone notice the patriots fumble rate this year?

    ____

    Why, yes, I did. Its right on pace to match the 2013 season.

  40. Polian is just one big bag of wind. Amazing how this guy gets away with all the crap he did and does.

    Polian, go away, please. On second thought, you are right where you should be, on a network that does nothing but fabricate stories. You fit right in.

  41. @raideralex99 well there is that… and 4 SUPER BOWL RINGS!! besides the other SB”s they lost. Manning doesn’t even come close.
    Mannings a nice guy but not as good as Brady.

  42. Brady would’ve been out of the league after a season by the other 31 teams if Belicheat didn’t hire 3 people to cheat every Sunday making every player appear than they are. Nobody wants Brady or anyone else on that team.

  43. It’s amazing to me he’s still bragging about this. If he were any good, he’s still be a GM. His claim to fame is marrying Tuna’s daughter.

  44. jackbenimble999 says:
    Sep 25, 2015 7:44 AM

    It’s been well-documented that the Pats decided they needed a backup QB to develop, and they sent a scout to check out Brady and some other guy. The scout came back absolutely raving about Brady, so the Pats took him. Belichick said the red flags on Brady were that his coach was trying to get another guy to start over him (Brad Henson?), so teams were saying, what’s the problem? Also, his coach wasn’t pushing him on NFL teams. Also, of course he appeared very unathletic at the combine. But Belichick also said they saw that Brady managed to take his team on some great comebacks, including a RoseBowl (?) victory.
    _________________________________

    The other starter was Drew Henson who left college to play for the Yankees and then came back as a Cowboy – was not very successful.

    Brady played in the 2000 Orange Bowl bringing Michigan back twice from 14 points down (sound familiar?) to win in overtime

  45. bdywrks says:
    Sep 25, 2015 12:18 AM
    Did anyone notice the patriots fumble rate this year?

    ____

    Why, yes, I did. Its right on pace to match the 2013 season.

    ———————

    And it’s only one guy, Dion Lewis. Haha. The haters have ABSOLUTELY nothing. It’s embarrassing for them and satisfying for us. We’ll just keep on winning. Nothing to see here.

  46. Dick Rehbein was the coached that kept pushing for Brady. It wasn’t any of the scouts. Rehbein passed away shortly afterward. Google this guy and read about him if you want to know the truth.

  47. laxer37 says:
    Sep 25, 2015 1:05 AM
    Fact is, even the Patriots didn’t know how good Brady was going to be. Otherwise they never would have waited until the 5th round. He did nothing in college to suggest he’d be mentioned among the greatest professional quarterbacks of all time.

    Anyone that says they predicted his success is a liar.

    —————————————————-
    In fact he did something in his college career…

    During his first full year as starter, he set Michigan records for most pass attempts and completions in a season (214). Brady was All-Big Ten honorable mention both seasons and team captain his senior year. He was 2x Big 10 Champ, won a National Championship in 1997 and won 3 Bowl Games. The Wolverines won 20 out of 25 games when he started. Brady went on to lead Michigan to multiple 4th-quarter comebacks, earning him the moniker of “Comeback Kid”. Sound familiar…And in perhaps his finest college hour, he led Michigan to an overtime win in the Orange Bowl over Alabama, throwing for 369 yards, four touchdowns, leading the team back from a pair of 14-point deficits in regulation (14-0 in the first half, and 28-14 in the second). Not too bad IMHO…..

  48. I promise you Pioli didn’t like Brady. It was Bobby Grier who fought from the third round on to draft him. Fought Pioli to draft him. Bobby alone! I also promise you that Polian did not have Brady with a good grade on him. He was just a name in a pile of quarterbacks not rated any higher than the mid to late rounds.

  49. theflyingelvis says:
    Sep 25, 2015 12:10 AM
    The truth is that nobody KNEW that Brady would be great. The Patriots obviously thought that he MIGHT be kinda good, EVENTUALLY. Anyone that says otherwise is a liar. Kind of like the Belichick hire. I’ll be the first to admit that I did NOT like it when they hired him. All I knew at the time was that he was the grumpy guy from the Browns that was a really good defensive coach. Yeah, I was just slightly wrong on that one.
    ————————
    I agree. I thought the Patriots were crazy to give up a first round pick to settle the dispute with the Jets over hiring Belichick. Gotta give Kraft credit for that one. He gave up a lot and rolled the dice on Belichick, but he won big.

  50. When people makes unverifiable claims of genius like that you have to question everything they tell you because you can’t trust a word coming out of their mouth.

  51. I want to change my HOF vote for Polian and I want 24 hours to convince others who voted for him to change their votes. Fraud, liar, but maybe a good fit for the NFL front office.

  52. Only 1 time in be lichen ‘ patriot history did he carry 4 qbs. Brady ‘ s rookie season. The next year he was number 2 on depth chart. Patriots draft leaders and brady fit that bill. No one knew he would be thus good. Not the patriots, not polian, and not even Bay homself. The only difference is that the Patriots knew he was going to be good. Remember they had just signed Bledsoe to one of the largest contract in nfl history. Polian said they had manning so they did not want to draft another qb. Instead he took one in the 6th round the following year. Polian built great teams without the salary cap. Once he was restricted he was average at best. He’s full of himself…hence he is on ESPN. Give the Patriots a thumbs up on drafting him. They follow best player available rule all the time. Why else would they waste a second round on a qb when they brady. Wait polian would have drafted Garrapolo..right

  53. Brady wouldnt have beat out manning, probably would have floated around as a back up and if a starter never goes down he has a tyler palko career. Belicheck and brady perfect fits for each other. Imagine how many super bowls manning would have been too or even won without tom brady. I think you are looking at a qb with 6 rings. Brady is great. Manning is great. Cant we all get along?

  54. Lets not forget brady started as the clutchest game manager in history, on teams that ran the ball probably more than 50% of the time and had hall of famers on d. He learned on the job after a few years how to put up manning type numbers. Manning gets hurt, and brady is asked early to give the 350 4 td performances most colts teams needed to win i think he flames out. Just being unbiased.

  55. Iknowitall says:
    Sep 25, 2015 5:57 AM
    Its easy to be great when you cheat.

    ——————–

    It’s not, and you’re flat out wrong. Your misguided comment exists solely because you hate the Patriots–the team that has shattered your dreams time and again.

    Wake up.

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