HOUSTON — Do you want Tom Brady to know your name and where you’re from? It’s pretty easy, actually — just get drafted by the New England Patriots.
The Patriots quarterback seems to go out of his way to make himself appear humble when first meeting his new teammates. But it’s not an act. For Patriots players, the first impression sticks. They unanimously think exactly the same about Brady now as they did in that first, at times stressful, encounter. And they talk about Brady in excited bursts, quoting what the quarterback said and what they were thinking in their minds.
Here are some of their tales of meeting perhaps the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL.
“I was scared to death of him. I had a Tom Brady jersey growing up, honestly. My mom got it for me for some birthday. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. I wanted to introduce myself, and he walked up to me — honestly, and this is a true story — he walked up to me and said, ‘Hey, I know you’re Logan. We got you in the third round. I want to introduce myself. I’m Tom Brady. I’m the quarterback here.’ Or ‘I’m a quarterback here.’ Might have said ‘I’m a quarterback here, knowing him.’ It took all the pressure off of me.
He just told me a little bit about my rookie year. He didn’t know what he was doing, had to work his way up. He kind of approached me as a no-name rookie, the starting quarterback, Tom Brady, and I thought that was pretty cool. I remember calling my family and telling everyone. Like, when I went home the first little break, they were like, ‘How’s Tom Brady? How’s Tom Brady?’ And I’m like, ‘He’s a genuinely really great human being.’ Everyone knows him as a football player, but I was really surprised that such a good guy can come with all that talent and everything. You usually don’t get all of that, but he’s got it.”
“Yo, it’s crazy, because I met Tom Brady in a stall. I’m using the bathroom, Tom Brady comes up right next to me, using the bathroom, and he’s like, ‘Hey Duron.’ And I’m like, ‘I just got here a week ago, like how do you know my name? You’re Tom Brady, I’m Duron Harmon. I’m the third pick that everybody’s like why is he here? And you already know my name.’ It was just a surreal feeling being that close to greatness and him actually knowing who you are.”
“‘Oh my god, it’s Tom Brady.’ Not hearing him say a word to anything, just watching him work, and it was like, ‘This guy is over Year 10, and this guy is working out like he just got here.’ You kind of see that in him, and it’s like, ‘You know what? I have to work just as hard as he does.’ It kind of pushes you to be better. It had a trickle effect, and it goes down and down and down and down all the way to the janitorial staff.”
“A great guy. It’s not what you expect when you see Tom Brady. But he’s a great teammate, great friend and that’s probably the most important part about him.”
“He had that father-like sense to him, that sense. He’s such a good dude. I definitely didn’t think he’d be as personable as he is. It’s been great. He’s so helpful. He’s such a great leader, of course, and just to see how humbling that is. He’ll talk to you about anything, whether you’re a 10-year guy or a first-day rookie. It’s been great.”
“A cool-ass dude. He was cool. I think a lot of people get different thoughts about other people, personalities and how they are. He’s a great guy to me, a great teammate.”
“Growing up, watching Tom, I think the first time I saw him, I was kind of in awe, like, ‘Wow, that’s Tom.’ And he came up to me and shook my hand, and I was just like, ‘Wow, he’s normal.'”
Thumbnail photo via James Lang/USA TODAY Sports Images