- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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It's a tenuous time around NFL locker rooms as teams prepare to finalize their 53-man rosters by Saturday's deadline.
In the case of the Patriots, the first step is actually shaving the roster from 85 to 75 players before Tuesday, the first mandatory cut down of the week.
For many players, this week represents their last chance in the NFL, as some will never find work with one of the 32 teams again.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has nothing to worry about, of course, but that wasn't always the case as Brady entered the league in 2000 as a largely unknown sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Multiplying his longer odds was the fact that the team carried four quarterbacks on its roster throughout the preseason.
And yet, Brady never feared that he would be cut.
"No, I didn't. I don't know why I didn't think that way," he told the "Dennis & Callahan Show" on WEEI sports radio in Boston on Monday morning (click HERE to listen). "Looking back on the situation now, I would say that maybe I should have been a little worried. No one ever keeps four quarterbacks, but Coach Belichick, he decided to stick with me."
Brady appeared in just one game as a rookie, completing one of his three passing attempts. But the 36-year old realizes now that having an opportunity to study the game from the sidelines for his first full season was a major benefit to his development.
"I was lucky to really have a chance that whole first year to be in a situation where I wasn't forced to play and lose a bunch of confidence," he said.
"I wasn't prepared to play my first year," he continued. "That's all that would have happened, I would've gone out and get beat and lost a ton of confidence in what I was doing. I was able to sit there, watch, learn, grow, grow into my body a little bit, improve my throwing mechanics and then my second year I went in there really competing for the back-up job and ended up winning it."