It has been 17 (seventeen!) years since Tom Brady took part in the NFL combine. Back then, he was just a guy, another quarterback trying to make an impression that would hopefully get him drafted a few months later. (As you might have heard a time or two million, six quarterbacks were taken ahead of Brady, who was a sixth-round pick.)

In terms of grace and athleticism, Brady’s combine performance was, in the kindest terms possible, lacking.

Now, nearly two decades later, Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history. The lesson, which he reiterated in a recent Instagram post: Looks -- in football terms, anyway -- are overrated.

“I found my combine shirt from 17 years ago and it got me thinking,” Brady wrote. “This is what they said about me then. Poor build, skinny, lacks great physical stature and strength, lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, lacks a really strong arm, can’t drive the ball downfield, does not throw a really tight spiral, system-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, gets knocked down easily.

“As @edelman11 always reminds me ... ‘You can prove em right or you can prove em wrong!’ Good luck to all of you this weekend!!”

And prove them wrong for a very long time. Here’s Brady back in January: “I’d crush my combine today from when I was 22,” he said. “But that isn’t saying much because I think I had the worst combine of any quarterback in history.”

He’s not kidding. Just ask Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. “We questioned his speed last year,” Garoppolo told’s Kevin Clark earlier this year. And so Brady challenged him to a foot race in camp. “It’s besides the point who won,” Garoppolo says with a laugh, suggesting the four-time Super Bowl winner was the victor. “He’s quick.”