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.