Throwback Thursday: Patriots Draft Tom Brady

A Tribute to Tom Terrific: 13…the number of years that have passed since the New England Patriots drafted Michigan Quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round pick number 199.

It’s hard to believe now that Brady was chosen so late in the draft, when you consider his body of work:

Three time Super Bowl champion (2001, 2003, 2004).

Two time Super Bowl MVP (2001, 2003).

Two time NFL MVP (2007, 2010).

Eight time pro bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).

125 regular season wins and 17 post-season wins (2001-2012).

Helped the Patriots go undefeated (16-0) and broke the single-season record for touchdown passes in the same season with 50 (2007).

But before all the accolades, records, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl trips Brady was at the bottom of the barrel on Bill Belichick’ roster. Let’s recap how Brady began and review who went before him in that 2000 NFL Draft:

Brady began the 2000 NFL season ranked fourth on the depth chart and would only play in one game completing a lone pass for six yards.

But in 2001 Brady rose to second on the depth chart behind then starter Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe would suffer internal bleeding in an injury from a week two contest against the New York Jets.

Brady took over the reigns and from there would lead New England to the post-season winning 11 of the 14 games in which he started.

The Pats would defeat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous “tuck rule” game, by way of an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Brady threw for 314 yards in the blistering cold and snow to bring New England back from a 10-point deficit.

Then New England would go on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game and would be led once more by Brady on Super Bowl Sunday to defeat the St. Louis Rams.

Brady led the game winning drive and spiked the ball with seven seconds left on the clock to set up another clutch kick for Adam Vinatieri. Brady won SBMVP honors with 145 yards passing and one touchdown. At the time, Brady was the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. The rest is simply history.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the players who were chosen ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft:

Patriots Picks in 2000:

2nd round pick number 46 OT Adrian Klemm

3rd round pick number 76 RB J.R. Redmond

4th round pick number 127 OT Greg Robinson-Randall

5th round pick number 141 TE Dave Stachelski

5th round pick number 161 DT Jeff Marriot

6th round pick number 187 CB Antwan Harris

Can you recall how those guys panned out for the Pats? If so, you may want to apply for Mel Kiper’ job at ESPN whenever he retires.

QB’s taken higher than Brady:

1st round pick number 18 Chad Pennington

3rd round pick number 65 Giovanni Carmazzi

3rd round pick number 75 Chris Redman

5th round pick number 163 Tee Martin

6th round pick number 168 Marc Bulger

6th round pick number 183 Spergon Wynn

Of the six quarterbacks above only Pennington and Bulger went on to have semi-successful NFL careers. Pennington of course was plagued by re-occurring shoulder injuries, and Bulger failed to lead the rams anywhere in almost a decade.

Redman only played in 30 regular seasons games in an eight year NFL career. Then there’s Wynn (10 career games in 2000-2001) and Martin, whose careers were very, very short lived (three games from 2001-2003). As for Carmazzi, he never played a game in the NFL.

Notable Players taken ahead of Brady

1st round pick number two LB LaVar Arrington

1st round pick number five RB Jamal Lewis

1st round pick number seven RB Thomas Jones

1st round pick number nine LB Brian Urlacher

1st round pick number 12 DE Shaun Ellis

1st round pick number 13 DE John Abraham

1st round pick number 14 TE Bubba Franks

1st round pick number 15 CB Deltha O’Neal

1st round pick number 16 LB Julian Peterson

1st round pick number 17 K Sebastian Janikowski

1st round pick number 19 RB Sean Alexander

1st round pick number 30 LB Keith Bulluck

2nd round pick number 44 T Chad Clifton

3rd round pick number 76 WR Laveraneus Coles

5th round pick number 142 P Shane Lechler

5th round pick number 149 DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

5th round pick number 153 WR Dante Hall

6th round pick number 169 K Neil Rackers

6th round pick number 186 LB Adalius Thomas

Among all of those notable NFL players, only Brian Urlacher and Jamal Lewis have came within Tom Brady’ range of success. Brady has been regarded by many experts as one of the greatest draft picks of all-time, and when you look at his career numbers it’s not hard to see why.

Brady by the Numbers:

Career Stats:

Passing Yards: 44,806 (9th all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 334 (5th all-time).

Passer Rating: 96.6 (3rd all-time).

Passes Completed: 3,798 (8th all-time).

Completion Percentage: 63.7% (9th all-time).

(fun fact: Chad Pennington, 2000-2010, ranks 1st all-time in Career Completion Percentage at 66.0%)

Post-season:

Passing Yards: 5,949 (1st all-time).

Passing Touchdowns: 42 (3rd all-time).

Passer Rating: 87.4 (12th all-time).

Passes Completed: 553 (1st all-time).

Completion Percentage: 62.3% (24th all-time)

When you couple those numbers with his championships, Brady is one of the best NFL draft success stories of all-time.

Final Thoughts: Brady’ contract extension of three years will keep him in Foxborough for what will likely be the remainder of his career. Meaning Tom gets to finish what he started all those years ago, when he was just a back-up quarterback above suspicion. Brady’ time in New England has certainly been nothing short of terrific.

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Throwback Thursday: Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champs

ImageTo start this Throwback Thursday off right we must first go back a bit before the 2004 World Series, and relive “The Comeback” that was the 2004 ALCS.

The Boston Red Sox finished the 2004 season in second place in the American League East Division behind the New York Yankees to earn a wild card birth. The season was riddled with uncertainty as injuries plagued the roster, young gun general manager at the time Theo Epstein made bold trades at the deadline (shipping Nomar Garciaparra away for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz, later trading a minor leaguer for Dave Roberts) and they had a terrible mid-season slump falling more than eight games back of the Yanks at one point.

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However, despite things looking dreary, the 2004 Boston Red Sox turned things around just in time to make the post-season as they won 22 of their last 25 games. Cabrera, Roberts and Mientkiewicz all played crucial roles in the Red Sox clubhouse during that stretch, and would continue to contribute in the postseason as well.

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After sweeping the then Anaheim Angels in the ALDS the Sox looked poised to finally overthrow the “Evil Empire” as they entered the ALCS against their arch nemesis. As you might remember the series didn’t exactly start the way we had hoped. Boston fell into a 3-0 hole the size of the Grand Canyon and it looked like there was no way out.

But just when the Fenway Faithful thought all hope was lost…something miraculous happened. The Boston Red Sox came to life and roared back into the series. Over the next four games minds were blown, sports writers and analysts were baffled, history was being written right before our very eyes, but no one could even begin to believe it.

Game 4 had the Sox season all but over. Going into the bottom of the 9th Boston trailed 4-3 and The Bronx Bombers had star closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. After Rivera walked Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came in to pinch run and made the steal that would start the improbable comeback. Roberts would score on a Bill Mueller single to tie the game, and an extra innings two-run blast by David “Big Papi” Ortiz would clinch the first of four victories for the Sox.

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Game 5 was long and grueling, and was again capped off by Papi as he hit an extra innings RBI to score Johnny Damon. Game 6 had Curt Schilling and “The Bloody Sock”, in which Schilling put on an a brilliant pitching performance to capture another victory. Finally, Game 7 featured a grand salami from Johnny Damon which helped seal the crazy comeback, as the Sox won 10-3 and propelled themselves to their first World Series appearance since 1986.

To illustrate just how improbable this comeback was, it should be noted that only four teams in the history of sports with a seven game playoff series (MLB,NBA,NHL) have came back down 3 games in a championship series to win (the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL, the 1975 New York Islanders NHL, the 2004 Boston Red Sox MLB, and 2010 Boston Bruins NHL, No NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit).

After doing the unthinkable against the New York Yankees the Red Sox didn’t spend anytime relishing in defeating (and embarrassing) their rivals, but instead continued the calamity and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

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I’ll never forget the final out made by then closer Keith Foulke. With two away and the Sox up 3-0 on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, you could certainly cut the tension with a butcher knife. We all remember where we were in that moment. The batter was Edgar Rentaria, who coincidentally donned the number 3 on his uniform, the very same number worn by Babe Ruth. Foulke got Rentaria to ground right back to the mound and the rest is history. Foulke flipped it over to Doug Mientkiewicz and those famous words, uttered by esteemed announcer Joe Buck, rang out on household televisions and sports bars across the country “Red Sox Fans have longed to hear it; The Boston Red Sox are World Champions”.

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This wasn’t just an 86-year-old curse being broken, this wasn’t just our first World Series title since 1918, this was so much more. This was what generation after generation of Red Sox fans had spent their whole lives waiting for, this was bigger than baseball, this was the one night that washed away decades of pain and suffering, that overshadowed all the spring training whispers of “this could be the year”. There was no catch, no hold up, no disappointment, only joy, celebration, and triumph.

The 2004 Boston Red Sox were unlike anything the sporting world had ever seen. They wrote their way into the history books one game at a time, in the cold nights of October, winning baseballs fall classic and the hearts of millions.

What was your favorite 2004 ALCS/World Series moment? Leave a comment below.

Throwback Thursday – Pats vs. Colts Rivalry

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the Patriots/Colts rivalry with the absence of Peyton Manning. Regardless, here’s a few throwbacks that will help you relive the intensity that ensued when the two AFC power houses would clash. Enjoy! … Continue reading

Throwback Thursday – Patriots’ First Superbowl Win

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This gallery contains 15 photos.

I know the Bye Week is good for the Pats but as a fan it’s definitely the worst week of the fall. Come September, every Sunday is all about the Patriots, then all of a sudden it’s gone. Anyways, in … Continue reading

Throwback Thursday – Celtics 2008

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

With this year’s Celtics (full) season only a few days away, why not relive the magic season that was 2007-08. Nothing better than sending Lebron home in the conference series and beating the Lakers at the Garden en route to … Continue reading

Throwback Thursday

Happy Birthday Red!

1917 – Arnold “Red” Auerbach born September 20, NBA coach/GM (Boston Celtic)

1915 – Boston Braves trounce St Louis Cardinals 20-1

1978 – Red Sox finally beat Yanks in Sept 1978, 7-3

1931 – Red Sox Earl Webb sets record with 65 en route to 67 doubles

1956 – Yanks set record, stranding 20 men on base. Mantle hits a 500′ plus homer but Red Sox win 13-9 in Fenway

Throwback Thursday

This week in sports history…

1822 – The city of Boston, MA was incorporated.

1983 – Northampton, MA – The first women’s collegiate basketball game was played at Smith College.

1904 – A patent was issued for a “baseball catcher”.

1934 – The first Masters Golf Championship began in Augusta, GA.

1953 – The Boston Celtics beat Syracuse Nationals (111-105) in four overtimes to eliminate them from the Eastern Division Semifinals.

Throwback Thursday

Here’s a new addition to the Boston Sports Blog…Throwback Thursdays. Each Thursday we’ll post a few historic events in Boston sports or other interesting events that occurred at this time years ago. Enjoy.

1939 – Boston Bruins won the Prince of Wales Trophy, clinching the NHL regular season championship. Marked the first time the trophy was awarded for this reason.

1954 – NBA raised the basket from 10 ft to 12 ft for an exhibition game between the Minneapolis Lakers and the Milwaukee Hawks.

1955 – Baseball commissioner Ford Frick said that he was in favor of legalizing the classic spitball.

1982 – The NCAA college basketball tournament selections were televised for the first time.

1995 – Dominique Wilkins of the Boston Celtics became the ninth NBA player to achieve 25,000 career points.

And why not use this post to give a little old school tribute to the B’s in the video below.