It is easy to talk about the Tom Brady that everyone knows now. The records have all been set and more remain within reach, but at one time, Brady was not a record holder. Brady was not arguably the greatest in the world.
In 2001, Brady stepped into the starting quarterback spot for the Patriots after Drew Bledsoe was injured during a week two matchup against the Jets. The young quarterback was just given an opportunity to make a name for himself in the league.
Most know the story of Brady’s rise to football stardom, but many do not some of the people that were first to contribute or try to get in the way of it.
First Touchdown Pass: Terry Glenn, Wide Receiver
Week 5, 2001
Tom Brady and Terry Glenn, coming from opposing Big Ten schools, came together to help lift the Patriots out of a 1-3 start to the season. The pair had an unusual beginning to their season before that play. Glenn came off the bench from a four-game substance-abuse suspension. And Brady, well, everyone knows how that story goes. In this game, Glenn caught a 21-yard pass to record Brady’s first touchdown pass.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Gleen played at home for The Ohio State Buckeyes. The walk-on received the Biletnikoff Award for being one of the top college receivers. He was the Patriots seventh pick in the first round of the 1996 draft. Once in the league, he played 11 seasons for the Patriots, Packers, and Cowboys.
The wide receiver had a troubled personal life outside of football. He often found himself in trouble with the law, issues spawning from domestic violence to public intoxication and auto theft. Glenn’s life came to a tragic end in 2017 at age 43 in a rollover car accident. He left behind children and a fiance, who was injured in the accident.
First Sack: Brad Scioli, Defensive End
Week 6, 2001
Another first, another former Big Ten player. Scioli was in his third season with the Colts. The defensive end was up against a young, seemingly unknown quarterback who just stepped into the position. And when it was time to make a big play, it was Scioli that got that first sack.
Originally from Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, Scioli stayed in-state to play at the college level, playing for a tough Penn State program headed by Joe Paterno. He finished his degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management and was then drafted in the fifth round by the Colts in 1999. His NFL career was spent in Indianapolis before injuries forced his retirement in 2004.
Following his exit from the league, Scioli went into teaching. He received a teaching certification from West Chester University and received a master’s from Wilkes University. Eventually, Scioli moved back home and is now working for the Upper Merion Area School District.
First Interception: Denard Walker, Safety
Week 6, 2001
This 2001 Patriots team was on the edge of turning their season around, and up next on their to-do list was Denver. While the Patriots maintained a lead to start the game, the Broncos won it in a strong second-half effort. Many big plays helped the mile-high team secure their comeback, including the play made by Walker, causing Brady’s first interception of his career.
Denard Walker was born in Dallas Texas and attended LSU. He was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft to the Tennessee Oilers and was with the team as they became the Tennessee Titans. Walker bounced from the Titans to the Broncos, next to the Vikings and ended his career with the Raiders in 2005.