It’s probably safe to say Tom Brady has proven a lot of people long over his illustrious 19-year NFL career. It’s not every day the 199th overall NFL Draft pick appears in eight, soon to be nine, Super Bowls, winning five of them.

Rob Ryan admits he was one of those doubters.

During his appearance Tuesday on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” on Radio Row in Atlanta, the former ex-New England Patriots linebackers coach at first wasn’t impressed with Brady. But Brady soon blew expectations out of the water.

“I was there with Dick Rehbein to work (Brady) out,” Ryan said, as transcribed by “I was working out the defensive players, but we kind of put our guys together against Aaron Shea and Brady. Of course, we won thanks to my great coaching. But it was great. Rabine was so passionate about this guy. I’m like, ‘I wonder how this guy is?’ So we draft him and he’s all excited. We get out there, and I’m like, ‘Well.’ We used to have the rookies go against each other at the end of every practice to develop players. And you know, typical Belichick, it was a great fashion to bring players around. And you could see (Brady) wasn’t any good –– I knew he wasn’t going to be any good. But then around that time, he kept getting better and better and better.”

It wasn’t until Year 2 that Brady really began to impress Ryan.

“And by the second year, we were in the weight room every day — I know it’s hard to believe I was, but (Eric) Mangini bet me for 162 days we were going to treat it like a baseball season,” he said. “We were going to go in there every day — and Willie McGinest and Tom Brady were in there every day with me and Mangini. Nobody else. He got stronger and stronger and better and better. By the third preseason game of our second year, he was by far the best (quarterback). My brother was like, ‘My God, the guy with the weird helmet is a really good quarterback.’ He was amazing.”

Now, “the guy with the weird helmet” is appearing in his third straight Super Bowl and has a chance to earn a sixth ring.

Thumbnail photo via Adam Hagy/USA TODAY Sports Images