It’s crazy to look back and think that Tom Brady was once a longshot to make the New England Patriots roster, especially when you recall that the Patriots kept four quarterbacks on the roster in order to accommodate a sixth-round pick from the Michigan Wolverines. But the Patriots kept their faith in the unknown (or maybe they did know) and their faith paid off big time.
In an interview with Dennis and Callahan this morning, Brady stated that he never felt worried about being cut despite the odds (not surprising given Brady’s confidence upon being drafted and throughout his career), “No, I didn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t think that way. Looking back on the situation now, I would say that maybe I should have been a little worried. No one ever keeps four quarterbacks, but Coach Belichick, he decided to stick with me.”
While Brady’s statement is certainly interesting, I found his thoughts on sitting out a year more interesting. A common debate with a rookie quarterback (we’re seeing it in the AFC East regarding Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel) is the merits of sitting out a quarterback so he can learn or throwing him into the fire so he can learn that way. What Brady says here based on this personal experience is incredibly interesting and sheds light on the value of sitting out a QB (though it’s not like Brady would have played as a rookie). A keyword in his comment? Confidence.
“I wasn’t prepared to play my first year. That’s all that would have happened, I would’ve gone out and get beat and lost a ton of confidence in what I was doing. I was able to sit there, watch, learn, grow, grow into my body a little bit, improve my throwing mechanics and then my second year I went in there really competing for the back-up job and ended up winning it.”
When Tom Brady puts it like that, other teams have to listen to that logic, and he isn’t the only notable football personality who has stated it is better to let a rookie QB learn the game on the sidelines for a season. I remember listening to Mike Holmgren speak on Mike and Mike a few years ago, and he stated that in an ideal world, the rookie sits.