FOXBORO -- An interesting question was posed to Tom Brady on Tuesday morning. Does he see similarities between himself as the 199th pick in the 2000 draft and Tim Tebow, the 25th pick in the 2010 draft. On its face, the question definitely has merit. Tebow's been buffeted by waves of critics who questioned his suitability for playing NFL quarterback. Yet Tom Brady was never anybody's five-star high school recruit as Tebow was. Nor did Brady win a Heisman Trophy or become the most celebrated college athlete of the past several years.
Brady was a schmoe's schmoe until 2001. And even after that, there was debate for another two seasons whether he was the engine or just a cog in the machine. So it's not surprising that Brady's answer actually reflected some of his personal journey. "I think everybody's got a story to tell," Brady pointed out. "Every player that's made it this far has had to overcome some adversity. Every player's had that. Could be injuries. Could be lack of opportunities. Could be stuck behind someone. There's very few players who come to the NFL ushered in on a red carpet. I think everybody has to fight through some things which really, you can see someone's strength of character and what they're made of when they're faced with some adversity."Those that have -- in Brady's words -- enjoyed that red carpet ride have often found the going much rougher when the carpet crash-landed. Peyton Manning went 3-13 in his first NFL season and didn't win a Super Bowluntil 2006 and probably will never win another.Drew Bledsoe fits that suit too. Thearm-long list of No. 1 overall picks who've washed out in the league is, in many instances, proofthat beingtheanointed one can be a curse as well. What have they had to fight through? Brady said the timber of Tebow's personality -- and ofother Broncos -- is what makes them a worthy opponent. "They have a bunch of guys like that," said Brady. "Talking to Josh (McDaniels, the Patriots offensive assistant), he has a bunch of admiration for this team and players on this team and they're mental toughness. They're a tough team. We played them four weeks ago. We know them better than any team in the league."