Anyone who’s seen Tom Brady’s shirtless draft photo looking like albino Gumby knows that TB didn’t exit the womb destined for greatness. It took decades of practice and a Drew Bledsoe collapsed lung to become inarguably the most accomplished football player of all-time.
New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, who is on the cusp of drafting Can’t Miss prospect Trevor Lawrence, recently spoke with NBC Sports’ Peter King about witnessing Brady’s singular approach to the game during an innocuous June minicamp practice late in his stint with the Patriots.
“I got to witness Tom Brady first-hand and it was the last day of a mini camp in June. I had been to a few of those and usually people had one foot out the door. They just got done with a very long, seven/eight weeks in the offseason,” Meyer recalled. “You’re talking about the greatest quarterback of all time. Mike Vrabel was there. Tedy Bruschi was there. I was blown away.
The last day of minicamp, they’re in shorts, helmets, and they’re doing a two-minute drill. And Tom Brady is treating it like it’s the Super Bowl. He goes down and he scores with two seconds left to win that scrimmage. Ran around the field like a child — that’s how competitive he is.
I went back immediately to my quarterbacks and shared with them that I just watched the greatest of all time, and the way you’re supposed to practice, the way you’re supposed to provide energy to the rest of your team and the way you lead your team.
I was blown away at Tom Brady and the way he performed at practice.”
The masterclass didn’t stop there. Meyer, a close friend of Bill Belichick who frequented Patriots minicamps (“I got something every time I visited the Patriots”), walked into the meeting room after practice to find Brady with the clicker in his hand running the offensive meeting in the presence of a captivated audience of linemen, running backs, receivers, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
“Think about that for a minute. You can say he throws a great pass. But people that really understand the game—there’s much more than that that makes him the best of all time.”
And to think there are still some people who diminish what he’s accomplished because the footballs in a 45-7 blowout were a little soft. The stories we tell ourselves.