New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn't hold back when reflecting on the talent of his starting quarterback Tom Brady, who's brought the franchise five Super Bowls over a wildly successful 19-year career.
"Definitely the greatest player of all time - not just quarterback in my opinion," Kraft said of Brady in an interview with ESPN. "Because he's such a leader in the locker room. For someone double the age of some of the players to be able to lead like that, and connect like that, and have the work ethic that he has, and at the same time so pleasant to be around - I'm really the luckiest guy in the world."
The Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Since then, Brady has made eight Super Bowl appearances, holds the record for most games won by a quarterback (207), ranks fourth all time in passing yards (70,514), and sits third all time in passing touchdowns (517).
The quarterback made an impression on Kraft immediately.
"I think of him as that skinny young man coming down the steps of the old stadium with the pizza box and introducing himself to me," Kraft noted. "I said, 'I know who you are, you're Tom Brady from Michigan, our sixth-round draft choice. And he said, 'And I'm the best decision this organization has ever made.'
"Of course, he was fourth on the depth chart. But I think he sure was right. But the greatest thing about him is he's the same guy he was then. He's a genuine person. He's kind. He's polite to everyone. He's a very caring person."
Should the underdog Patriots defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Brady will have the chance to add to his Super Bowl records of most touchdown passes (18) and passing yards (2,576).
Kraft also showed some love to head coach Bill Belichick, who boasts a 261-123 career head coaching record.
"(Bill) is the GOAT of coaches, just like our quarterback is the GOAT of quarterbacks. And no one can dispute it."