That was at least the case in the Patriots coach's sit-down interview with the NFL Network, which was conducted prior to last weekend's draft. Belichick touched on a number of interesting topics with Mike Mayock, but perhaps the most intriguing was the discussion of drafting Tom Brady.
Belichick stated plainly that Brady was not a phenomenal athlete by any stretch of the imagination, and the fact that he was not a full-time starter in his senior year at Michigan was enough to give him pause.
"How high do you want to draft a guy who they're really trying to replace as a starter at college?" Belichick said of the mindset of looking at Brady.
Yet Belichick said he saw enough in Brady to spend the 199th pick in the 2000 draft on the quarterback.
"The thing with Brady was really the traits: his work ethic, his intelligence, his decision-making," Belichick said. "I think a lot of the draft process is [about] not where the player is right now, but where the player will be a year from now, or where he'll be two calendar years from now.
"I don't think I've ever seen a player improve as much as Tom did. That's certainly a big credit to his work ethic and his determination."
Among the other subjects that Belichick discussed were:
- Drafting Phil Simms over Ottis Anderson with the Giants in 1979
- The difficulty in scouting Lawrence Taylor out of North Carolina, as well as the coach's ability to stoke Taylor's competitive spirit (Belichick: "We always held it over his head that George Rogers was picked ahead of you.")
- The differences between the passing games in college and the NFL
- The thought process behind focusing on interior players in the draft (Belichick: "The thing about those players is they're involved in every play. You can't have a play where you don't block the nose [tackle].")
- His proudest pick being kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh
- Some wild workout stories
- The reason the NFL draft started, which was Brooklyn's and Green Bay's dispute over Don Hutson in 1935 (Belichick: ""It all started because of Hutson.")
- The lasting impact that Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones left on the NFL
The entire video can be seen on Patriots.com, and for any football fan that's eager to get the season started, it's a great way to pass the time.