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April 16 in Pats History: Thank You, Dick Rehbein (aka Pats draft TB12)

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Today in Patriots History
Thank You, Dick Rehbein

April 16, 2000:
"In the sixth round with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft, the New England Patriots select Tom Brady, quarterback from the University of Michigan."


This coach convinced Bill Belichick to draft Tom Brady



Betsy and her younger sister Sarabeth with their father Dick Rehbein when he was an assistant with the New York Giants in 1999.



Rehbein was a soft-spoken man, but he would tell anyone about Brady, the kid from Michigan. Boy, was he slow. Gosh, was he skinny. But, man, was he smart and reliable and fearless.

"This is the kid," Rehbein told Kyle O'Brien, then an intern in the Patriots' personnel department. "I just believe in this kid. I really believe in him as a person."

Brady was witty and quick, but his college football experience was confusing. For a while at Michigan, he split practice snaps with Drew Henson, and Coach Lloyd Carr took an unusual approach to declaring a game starter: One of them would start the first quarter, the other would go in for the second quarter, and whoever played better would play the second half.

Rehbein took note that Brady won 20 of the 25 games he started and led the Wolverines to five comeback victories in 1999. But he ran like a newborn horse, and his passing mechanics needed an overhaul. So only one scout came to see Carr about Brady, and that scout, Bobby Grier, happened to work for the Patriots, who happened to have a quick and witty and open-minded quarterbacks coach named Dick Rehbein.

Rehbein liked a project, and Brady was a blank canvas. "He was just excited about possibilities," Pam recalled.

According to New England lore, the Patriots were interested in drafting a reserve quarterback in the late rounds, and at one point before the draft, Belichick asked Rehbein to choose: Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay or Brady, as if he really had to think about it.



For all of Bobby Grier's faults, let's also give him credit for tipping Rehbein off about the part-time Michigan starting QB. Perhaps we should also be thankful that Lloyd Carr bowed to booster pressure to give local high school phenom Drew Henson more playing time; if not, TB12 would have been noticed by other teams.
 

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Dick saw right away what some others did, including myself when Tom got here. Tom was methodical and deliberate, the approach any GOAT artist takes to his craft. Plus he was never physically impressive or overpowering. Most football people were looking for athleticism. Flutie had plenty of that, but the league considered him a Tebow. The only difference between the 2001 Patriots and the 1988 Patriots is one head coach stuck with the kid in his first stint starting who won enough games to put the team on the brink of the playoffs. The other one didn't. If you reversed those decisions, I am practically certain the results would have been similar.

Interestingly, the fans were not so thrilled with Eason, as they were ga-ga about Bledsoe. In both cases the coach made his decision; one wound up with a bunch of Lombardies and the other was gone within a year.
 

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Today in Patriots History
Thank You, Dick Rehbein

April 16, 2000:
"In the sixth round with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft, the New England Patriots select Tom Brady, quarterback from the University of Michigan."


This coach convinced Bill Belichick to draft Tom Brady



Betsy and her younger sister Sarabeth with their father Dick Rehbein when he was an assistant with the New York Giants in 1999.



Rehbein was a soft-spoken man, but he would tell anyone about Brady, the kid from Michigan. Boy, was he slow. Gosh, was he skinny. But, man, was he smart and reliable and fearless.

"This is the kid," Rehbein told Kyle O'Brien, then an intern in the Patriots' personnel department. "I just believe in this kid. I really believe in him as a person."

Brady was witty and quick, but his college football experience was confusing. For a while at Michigan, he split practice snaps with Drew Henson, and Coach Lloyd Carr took an unusual approach to declaring a game starter: One of them would start the first quarter, the other would go in for the second quarter, and whoever played better would play the second half.

Rehbein took note that Brady won 20 of the 25 games he started and led the Wolverines to five comeback victories in 1999. But he ran like a newborn horse, and his passing mechanics needed an overhaul. So only one scout came to see Carr about Brady, and that scout, Bobby Grier, happened to work for the Patriots, who happened to have a quick and witty and open-minded quarterbacks coach named Dick Rehbein.

Rehbein liked a project, and Brady was a blank canvas. "He was just excited about possibilities," Pam recalled.

According to New England lore, the Patriots were interested in drafting a reserve quarterback in the late rounds, and at one point before the draft, Belichick asked Rehbein to choose: Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay or Brady, as if he really had to think about it.



For all of Bobby Grier's faults, let's also give him credit for tipping Rehbein off about the part-time Michigan starting QB. Perhaps we should also be thankful that Lloyd Carr bowed to booster pressure to give local high school phenom Drew Henson more playing time; if not, TB12 would have been noticed by other teams.

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