Tyrone Poole was the rare NFL player who got to play with both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the early stages of their careers. Poole, a first-round pick in 1995, played with Manning in Indianapolis from 1998-2000 and with Brady in New England from 2003-05.
Poole, in fact, played with Manning during his rookie season – when Manning threw for 26 touchdowns and 28 interceptions and the Colts finished 3-13.
Didn’t matter. Peyton was still Peyton.
“Peyton was still like he is now,” Poole said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “His competitiveness, the way he prepared, the way he studied – it never changed. I always say he got that from his dad. Archie being a quarterback, (Peyton) probably saw some things very early that were very professional-like that was in his DNA, and it helped him become a Hall of Famer.”
Poole said that Manning, even as a rookie, studied the game like a 10-year vet.
“I think that comes from being raised in a quarterback family,” Poole said. “Like I do with my kids, when they participate in sports, the one thing that they have over other kids is the mental – because I’m able to give them the insights. The book may say you’re supposed to leap off your left leg, but I’m going to tell you, son, you can cheat by leaping off the back of your right. So I give them the insights, and I’m sure Archie did the same thing with Peyton: Here’s what you really need to study. These are the ABCs of being a quarterback.”
Poole, a former cornerback, went on to win two Super Bowls with Brady. In fact, he was a starting cornerback on the 2003 team that went 14-2 and beat the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Poole, 44, has great memories of playing with Brady.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a competitor,” Poole said. “The one thing I remember about Tom, I tell people his attitude – he has a gun-warrior attitude. I don’t want to use the word gun, but he is a real solid competitor.”
Poole knew instantly that Brady would be a star in the NFL.
“When I first got to the Patriots, he would come in and lift sometimes with the defensive guys,” Poole said. “Now I don’t know how many quarterbacks in the NFL would do that because normally they have the offense lift with the offense, defense lift with the defense. But Tom would come in there and he would lift sometimes with the defense – and that’s how he plays on the field.”