In writing a piece previewing "The Brady 6" documentary to be aired on ESPN (Tuesday, April 12, 8 p.m. ET), Brady's former Michigan teammate Aaron Shea helped things come to life.
A few of Shea's recollections didn't make it into the piece.
One was from the offseason before the 2001 season. Both had just concluded their rookie seasons -- Brady with the Patriots, Shea with the Browns.
"We were at a wedding and he said 'I'm going to beat out Drew Bledsoe.' We were playing catch and I said, 'Come on Coach, it's Drew Bledsoe, a Pro Bowl quarterback," Shea recalled, the reference to "Coach" going back to their days playing SEGA's "Bill Walsh College Football" at Michigan.
"He just started throwing the ball harder and you could see that look in his eyes. I didn't have any gloves on. It was like 'take it easy.' That year, when Drew got hurt, I knew Tom wasn't going to let him get that job back."
Shea shared another memory from when he was with the San Diego Chargers and the Brady-led Patriots visited in the AFC Divisional Round.
“We sat there at my house, watching the Ravens-Colts game, and we’re talking shop. I was hurt, so I wasn’t playing in that game, and he says, ‘By the way, I’m going to tell you what, we’re going to beat you tomorrow.’ He was looking at me very seriously and my wife looked over and I said ‘You’re crazy, man, we’re the best team in the NFL,’" Shea recalled.
"He started going through the team, saying ‘This guy is overrated, he gets beat on double-moves, and one of your safeties, I’m going to take advantage of him all day long.’ Everything he said was right about our weaknesses. I told him after the game he owed me $25,000. He said 'For what? I told him that [playoff share] was for my daughter’s [college] 529 plan."
"The Brady 6" is filled with these types of stories.