Tom Brady is still motivated by his pre-draft scouting report

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, we pointed out that ESPN’s Dean of Draftniks had Tom Brady as a fifth-round pick and the No. 10 overall quarterback in the 2000 draft. Mel Kiper wasn’t alone, and Brady still derives motivation from the assessment of his skills as he made the leap from Michigan to the NFL.

In response to a clip tweeted by Bleacher Report of the late Steve Sabol reviewing with Brady his draft report, Brady retweeted the item with this message: “Still gets me fired up.”

The scouting report, as Sabol explained it, included these assessment: “poor build”; “skinny”; “lacks great physical stature and strength”; “gets knocked down easily.”

Said Brady at the time: “That kinda gets me fired up, ’cause I’m thinking, you know ‘What the hell do these people know?’ That sounds like Joe Montana right there. . . . When people tell you, ‘Hey, you can’t do this, you can’t do this,” and you keep overcoming that, you build this confidence and this belief in yourself that, even when nobody else believes in you, that I’m still gonna do it. Because I don’t give a shit what you say. I know what I can do, and I’ve done it.”

He’s done it over and over again. And a slight from 21 years ago is still driving him to keep doing it.

75 responses to “Tom Brady is still motivated by his pre-draft scouting report

  1. The ability for professional athletes to use any perceived slight as motivation is amazing and clearly why I never had a chance lol

  2. In fairness, Brady in no way looked like a football player in those draft videos. I work with people that have better builds.

  3. So many players use these little things to get fired up. So many guys on here usually reply with variations of oh grow up, pro players shouldn’t need motivation, you are weak if you need to get fired up, etc…
    It will be interesting to see how many guys on here will respond how great Brady is by using this sleight from 20 plus years ago

  4. Did you ever see that combine photo? I’m surprised he wasn’t the last guy picked.

    Proving people wrong seems to be his superpower. I’m rooting for him and Gronk to win again next year.

  5. Tall. Smart. Played in a major conference.

    We all know that those things are crucial. Not talking about a 5-foot-9 guy from a small school who failed the wunderlic.

    Shocking.

  6. Had Drew Bledsoe not gotten injured, Tommy might have never stepped foot on the field. He might have hung around as a backup for a year or so, and then been replaced by a backup with a stronger arm. The fact that all the other teams passed him up 6 times makes me think nobody would have picked him up had he been waived. I know Kurt Warner agrees with me.

  7. Arrowhead816…a little bitter are you? Why can’t you just acknowledge the presence of greatness and appreciate the fact that you got to see him play, live, and not in some NFL network or ESPN retrospective? The fact that Brady is STILL motivated by being picked in the sixth round all those years ago is a testament to his competitiveness and mettle. Brady and Jordan should have a beer together sometime and discuss how their fierce competitive natures got them a combined THIRTEEEN championships in their respective sports. I’ll bet they would be fast friends.

  8. the Pats hit the lottery with Brady but lets be real here, 31 teams passed on him 6 times and the Pats passed on him 5 times so it’s not like he was their secret in wait, what if Bledsoe doesn’t get hurt, does he even stay as a backup, do the Pats even start on that magical SB journey, who knows..I give him his due and have actually come around to him being the reason New England has all the hardware vs BB

  9. Well QB is an executive position. Of course you have to have a minimum level of athletic ability to get to the NFL. But would you rather have a guy who can throw the ball 60 yards from his knees (Kyle Boller) or a guy with superior executive skills (decision making, communication and planning) who can win the last game of the season (TB 12)?

  10. LOL at haters both of Brady & of Pats! Lottery winners?? Nope. Pats had 3 QBs including Bledsoe who’d just signed the then biggest ever NFL contract. Belichick listed Brady as a 4th/5th round QB, but AFTER the Pats picked their 6th round pick Brady was still there and Belichick thought that was extremely surprising and so took Brady as a great “value” pick. Pats didn’t win the lottery, nor was Belichick fooled by the kid’s looks – unlike other orgs. And they then carried 4 QBs including Bledsoe. That isn’t luck, haters, that’s design.

  11. C’mon. At michigan, he threw for 4700 yards, 30 TDs and 17 picks. He had Negative rushing yards…all in 4 years. Even the Pats passed on him for 5 rounds. If Mo Lewis hadn’t nearly ended Drew Bledsoe’s life, it may have been years before we saw Brady, or perhaps he gets traded. Cannot dispute him being on teams that have gone an won Super Bowls. He’s compiled historical numbers, but not a soul in the NFL or Earth was thinking that Brady was a steal and we’d overlook him. It was bound to happen after thousands of guys rotating through the league, at least one was going to wind up being a great player that was initially overlooked.

  12. Anybody thinks that Brady WOULD NOT have made it to the top, with or without the Bledsoe injury has rocks in their head, yes charliecharger & Arrowhead816 THATS YOU. What games you been watchin’, sure as heck hasn’t been the NFL for the past 20 years

  13. I played hockey with guys needed to be fired up like this. Me personally i dont. Its just two different ways of doing things and neither are wrong.

  14. Aloha,
    Brady struggled to be the starter at Michigan. Leaving some to wonder – if he may not be the best QB on his college team, maybe we should look elsewhere.
    And yet, his Michigan performance put him near they top cmpared to their QB’s in the past.

    And yet, won 2 bowl games.

    Kept his team in games, and delivered comebacks that were probably much more important to look at then his combine.

    Maybe they should have wondered: If he is this skinny and this unathletic and keeps winning, imagine what he might do with NFL caliber training and coaching?

    Always fun to have him talk about being picked 199. I wonder if he really cares or if it now just a schtick?

    Crazy great footballer. “Let’s Go!”

  15. Geesh, give it up Brady. You have proven your detractors from 20 years ago wrong. Stop your self-manufactured and marketing victim status. What is wrong with you? Nothing good to celebrate?

  16. Tommy needs to get over himself. You weren’t even the #1 QB on your college team. Although, he should have been the full time starter. So many things in life are about timing. If he did have a higher grade, he could have went to another team and who knows what would have happen. In reality, he should be thankful of his draft grade because so many things fell in place right after. A lot of things!!
    When Tom won his first SB, NE dumbed down the system for him so much, and I thinked they realized NFL offenses do not need to be that complex, if you have other great parts on the team. Brady was not asked to do much in those early years, but people tend to forget that. Don’t turn it over, wait for the other team to make a mistake, Tommy drive 40 yards and Adam V kick the game winner. Game managing at it’s best.

  17. arrowhead816 says:
    February 28, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    The most narcissistic guy to ever play football…
    —————————————————————————–
    I think Deion Sanders wins that award hands down.

  18. I’m with TB12. I think about the slights that I’ve gotten in life. I even made a list of them. I posted it by my bed. It is great motivation to remember how people that supposedly love and those that don’t care about you share that commonality, disbelief in what you can accomplish!!!

  19. Something to be said of GREAT players using slights as motivation. There are only 2 real GOATS. Micheal Jordan and Tom Brady. Both used that motivation to just humiliate their opponents!

  20. The crazy thing about the Patriots at that time is they had a QB named Michael Bishop who was mobile with a powerful arm. Imagine if he and not Brady backed up Bledsoe but he didnt have the quick release and accuracy, as well as height, that Brady had …

  21. It is a myth that had Bledsoe not been hurt Brady would never have gotten a chance to be the Patriots QB and may never have had much of a career in the NFL. Prior to the 2001 season, Brady’s skills and leadership with teammates were already well noted by the Patriots coaching staff and their consensus coming out of camp and pre-season was that Brady (not Bledsoe) was the best QB on the roster. To Belichick’s everlasting credit once Bledsoe was injured he inserted Brady, and had the courage to stay with TB even after Bledsoe was ready to come back. I state this as a Patriots fan who reveres Brady, rooted all year for him and Gronk, and was ecstatic to see TB hoist his 7th Lombardi. And yes, I didn’t mind seeing Belichick get his comeuppance this season, but back in 2001 he showed courage and objectivity in going with Brady in relief of Bledsoe and sticking with him through the Super Bowl upset of the Ram’s “dynasty.”
    Even if not in the 2nd game of the 2001 season when Bledsoe was taken out by Mo Lewis, eventually Brady would have gotten his chance and he would have made the most of it.

  22. At least he doesn’t have the same weak schedule now that he had for the first 20+ years of his career. Had he played in any competitive division, he’d only have 2-4 rings and this year would have put him in the slight lead as the goat. Go look at their 16-0 season. They only played 3-4 legit teams! And that was the year he had the goat WR in Moss! Walk through 8-12 easy games and the playoffs are easier. If Montana had that schedule for his career, he’d be looking at 5-7 rings too. Sorry folks, Dan Marino and Fran Tarkington are the goats at the QB position. All others are a product of their environment.

  23. charliecharger says:
    February 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm
    Had Drew Bledsoe not gotten injured, Tommy might have never stepped foot on the field. He might have hung around as a backup for a year or so, and then been replaced by a backup with a stronger arm. The fact that all the other teams passed him up 6 times makes me think nobody would have picked him up had he been waived. I know Kurt Warner agrees with me.
    ———-

    Tom Brady did not come to the NFL to be a backup. That man was going to become the GOAT either way, and we all got confirmation of that this year. TB12 was destined to be the GOAT, as a Patriot or whoever he was with, he was going to lead a dynasty.

  24. BB doesn’t get enough credit for promoting Brady when he was behind Michael Bishop and the veteran John Frieze on the depth chart. BB didn’t even have to carry 4 QBs.

  25. arrowhead816 says:
    February 28, 2021 at 7:59 pm
    The most narcissistic guy to ever play football…

    ——————-

    You know that this story is about Tom Brady and not Russel Wilson, right?

  26. Sounds exactly like Michael Jordan ripping the high school coach who cut him during his HOF induction speech. Jordan and Brady take competitiveness to a whole new level.

  27. Like clockwork, there are some silly—and beyond silly—detractor comments here. I’ve come to accept them when they emanate from the fan position where Brady still has his boot on their collective neck. Understandable (I guess?)

    The one that always takes the cake is that “cheating” (Lance Armstrong comp, or any other form) got him a 21 year unprecedented run of winning. This guy is the opposite of that.

    I put that argument next to the “system” was the thing, he had a cakewalk schedule for a quarter century (somehow?), and that Viniateri carried him. All insanely childish and dumb arguments from those sick of losing to him that just can’t accept what happened.

    He’s retired a number of people on this site who were just sick of being wrong in every big game prediction they’ve had. That’s the level of dominance. It’s still going on too.

  28. Bill Belichick wanted to start Brady at the beginning of 2001 season. If Drew Bledsoe never signed that big contract, Kraft wouldn’t of been able to stop Belichick.

  29. Bill Belichick wanted to start Brady at the beginning of 2001 but Drew’s big contract wasn’t going to allow Kraft to let Bill do that. And it being obvious after the injury, Bledsoe wasn’t going back in. Now we see why.

  30. All this fawning over a grown man not moving on from something that happened twenty years ago is amusing and pathetic ya’ll need to grow up. Brady is a good Qb and a spoiled brat that sulks when he loses refusing to shake hands……also the wonders of chemistry on display. The Lance Armstrong of the NFL.

  31. somuchdramainthepft says:

    February 28, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    At least he doesn’t have the same weak schedule now that he had for the first 20+ years of his career. Had he played in any competitive division, he’d only have 2-4 rings and this year would have put him in the slight lead as the goat. Go look at their 16-0 season. They only played 3-4 legit teams! And that was the year he had the goat WR in Moss! Walk through 8-12 easy games and the playoffs are easier. If Montana had that schedule for his career, he’d be looking at 5-7 rings too. Sorry folks, Dan Marino and Fran Tarkington are the goats at the QB position. All others are a product of their environment.

    —————————————
    You should take another look at their 2007 schedule. Played 8 teams with a .500 or better record and beat 8 or 9 playoff teams (including the playoffs) that season. It was one of the hardest schedules in the league that season.

    The following year they had one of the easiest schedules and missed the playoffs when Brady got hurt in game 1.

    If this season doesn’t prove Brady would have won where ever he played nothing will to his detractors. Brand new team, no offseason, no preseason, harder division, harder conference, wild card team, and road playoff games. The guy just wins.

  32. likuidsmoke says:
    March 1, 2021 at 1:43 am
    charliecharger says:
    February 28, 2021 at 8:25 pm
    Had Drew Bledsoe not gotten injured, Tommy might have never stepped foot on the field. He might have hung around as a backup for a year or so, and then been replaced by a backup with a stronger arm. The fact that all the other teams passed him up 6 times makes me think nobody would have picked him up had he been waived. I know Kurt Warner agrees with me.
    ———-

    Tom Brady did not come to the NFL to be a backup. That man was going to become the GOAT either way, and we all got confirmation of that this year. TB12 was destined to be the GOAT, as a Patriot or whoever he was with, he was going to lead a dynasty.

    14 2 Rate This

    ———————-

    BB taught Brady everything Brady knows. Yiou revisionist history people are funny.

  33. SeekTheTruthInHim says:

    February 28, 2021 at 9:53 pm
    Go8t. Yea I said it- he’s gonna get 8!

    At least. Brady is going to convince most of his Bucs’ teammates to stay on and if, not, he’ll use his GM skills to bring some other passed-by stars to the team.

  34. Yet Tony Dungy was more afraid of QBs that can run fast. Well, at least Dungy did win the SB one time with Peyton Manning.

  35. It’s somewhat understandable he was overlooked by draft “experts” But what has really been entertaining is making fools out of the Chris Simms types for 20 years and counting.

  36. Brady, Rodgers and Brees should get together and lament how disrespected they’ve been during their glorious careers as they get ready to all go into Canton on the first ballot…

    I say that jokingly, because I love how motivated those guys are over slights, real and perceived. Not that the other two are on Brady’s level, but there is no way any of them are as successful as they’ve been without that motivation.

  37. Vasteelerfan says:
    March 1, 2021 at 8:59 am
    All this fawning over a grown man not moving on from something that happened twenty years ago is amusing and pathetic ya’ll need to grow up. Brady is a good Qb and a spoiled brat that sulks when he loses refusing to shake hands……also the wonders of chemistry on display. The Lance Armstrong of the NFL.

    ——
    Soooo…..you’re admitting he’s a “good” (definition—above average) QB….

    Well, at least we got that straight. Somebody ought to write that one down.

    It might also benefit you and other to stop making ridiculous accusations of illegal drug gains without a shred of proof. Jealousy creates some odd things, we know. There’s zero evidence (physically and otherwise) of any of that. If your guy trained like Brady and not by inhaling cheeseburgers in the off-season, he might have been better and got injured less. And the Steelers may have not lost every big game against the Pats during his whole career. There was hardly a team he dominated more, and there were a lot of them.

    Those are the real facts.

  38. Once again, half the people call Brady “2 yard Tom” and tell us he’s a lousy athlete, while the other half claim his amazing physical prowess can only be explained by performance enhancing drugs. You can’t make this stuff up.

  39. “Tom Brady is still motivated by his pre-draft scouting report” This headline resurfaces every year in the slow NFL season. The scouts and Mel Kiper got it wrong. It happens. Channeling it into a positive energy and dedicate your life to proving everyone wrong: Priceless. Good for you TBA12.

  40. All this fawning over a grown man not moving on from something that happened twenty years ago is amusing and pathetic ya’ll need to grow up…also the wonders of chemistry on display.

    Says the steeler fan, still pining away over Super Bowls they won 40-45 yrs ago while they were all on illegal steroids.

  41. Geez, touchback6 are you really Linda Holliday?

    Brady came from behind to win big games at Michigan vs powerhouses Penn State, Ohio State & others and ended his career at the Orange Bowl beating Alabama in overtime. He went 2-0 in Bowl games at Michigan. Brady knew how to win the big games, long before he met Belichick. And clearly, will continue to win the big ones after Belichick.

    Lloyd Carr, Brady’s coach at Michigan has said that to know how good Tom Brady, one should watch his last 3 games at Michigan: “Hey, if you want to see how a guy handles pressure, how smart he is, how focused he is, watch that.”

  42. Brady is always doubted. (example – rarely do people talk about Coach Walsh and Jerry Rice when they mention Montana’s greatness). That’s why the pre-draft scouting report still resonates.

    Those of us who love Brady thank all of the doubters. Because of you, he continues to need to prove you wrong.

  43. NinersFan1973 says:

    March 1, 2021 at 10:56 am
    Brady, Rodgers and Brees should get together and lament how disrespected they’ve been during their glorious careers as they get ready to all go into Canton on the first ballot…

    I say that jokingly, because I love how motivated those guys are over slights, real and perceived. Not that the other two are on Brady’s level, but there is no way any of them are as successful as they’ve been without that motivation.

    There you go again. Mentioning Brees & Rodgers, as good as they are, in the same sentence as Brady is a huge slight. #LookingTo8

  44. mscooby says:
    February 28, 2021 at 9:48 pm
    Montana would have caught it…

    ———

    Joe would not even be playing. He would have lost the NFCCG.

  45. It becomes apparent to me that many people equate the greatness of a quarterback with the ability to make difficult throws, the material on highlight reels. But what gets glossed over is the bread-n-butter throws that gain yardage and keep the drive alive, first down instead of touchdown. What if Brady simply throws to open man and take the easy throws given to him by the defense instead of risking long bombs? Essentially the man made a career out of dink and dunk with the occasional deep balls. Why? It’s effective but most don’t do it because it requires superhuman patience. Adding to that is that at clutch moments, he would pull the trigger even absorbing a hit. He is the ultimate PASSER of the ball in distributing to his wide receivers. Is it any wonder he holds the record in throwing to different receivers in history?

    Guys like Chris Simms equate QB greatness with making difficult throws a la Rodgers and Mahomes even when the situation is not called for. Everyone marvels at those Hail Mary throws by Rodgers, myself included, so the public built this perception that he’s a clutch player when in reality his 4th quarter comeback 17 victories rank him currently at #48 with active players like Joe Flacco and Alex Smith above him! Brady is #2 with 39 and Peyton tops the list with 43 so very likely Brady will surpass that next season or more. Rodgers makes wow throws but he’s a front runner.

  46. Look… Tom Brady should be motivated by those statements…

    And is the prime example of what motivation, self belief and hard work can do…

    However… like almost any human being on the planet…there is a great deal of luck involved as well. He was in the right place…at the right time…with the right staff…

    Then he used his gifts to become the QB he is today…

  47. Joe would not even be playing. He would have lost the NFCCG.
    ———

    4-2 (.667%)

  48. He was in the right place…at the right time…with the right staff…
    —————————————————-

    The team was a laughing stock.

    They were 0-2 when Brady took over, and there were FIVE 0-2 teams that experts believed had better chance making playoff.

  49. touchback6 says:
    “BB taught Brady everything Brady knows. You revisionist history people are funny.”

    Credit does go to BB for his mentorship of Brady and I have the utmost respect for the coach but having knowledge is different from applying that knowledge and executing the plan. Otherwise, Brian Hoyer would be a starter! Let’s face it, Brady is just a different cat. A student outshining the master is not unprecedented. Time will tell if BB can field a contending team again. Regardless, his legacy is already cemented, to me, as the greatest football coach ever.

  50. drunken brady says:
    March 1, 2021 at 12:28 pm
    Joe would not even be playing. He would have lost the NFCCG.
    ———

    4-2 (.667%)

    ———-

    10 > 4

  51. redlikethepig says:
    March 1, 2021 at 8:31 am
    How on earth is he not over this by now ???
    ———-

    That’s why he’s the GOAT. A mere mortal QB would have been happy after ring #1.

  52. jjackwagon says:
    March 1, 2021 at 4:09 pm
    Never won a SB without a top-10 scoring defense. Never.
    ———-
    So there’s 9 other defenses who should have won it then. Why does Brady keep getting so lucky?

  53. I miss that skinny kid nobody believed in other then the Pat’s! he was so humble all about the team nothing last forever tho.

  54. No one has had their SB performances vetted, critiqued and dissed more than Brady. “His defense carried him”, “the kicker won it”, etc, etc.

    Yet these same people celebrate Joe Montana beating the Bengals 26-21 in a SB game where Cincinnati had 5 turnovers. Five. F-I-V-E. Wow, Joe played some mean defense and special teams in that game.

  55. touchback6 says:
    March 1, 2021 at 9:09 am

    BB taught Brady everything Brady knows. Yiou revisionist history people are funny.
    ————–

    Why doesn’t BB teach his secrets to his other QB’s, why is he doing that to himself?

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