On Sunday, the Patriots and the Falcons meet in Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas. Former Male High School and UofL star quarterback Chris Redman spent time with both organizations during his professional career. Drafted 124 spots ahead of Tom Brady in 2000, Redman played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. He was a rookie on the Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV. In 2005, he spent the offseason working out with the Patriots, and in 2007, he resurrected his pro career with the Falcons. Redman started the final four games of the 2007 season for Atlanta. In the 2008 draft, they selected Matt Ryan with the third overall pick. Among Redman’s many business ventures is Baptist Health Performance Training at 12101 Sycamore Station Place. He is partners with former Cards Deion Branch, Breno Giacomini and Eric Wood.
Is it strange having two teams that you spent some time with meeting in the Super Bowl?
I played five years in Atlanta, and a lot of people don’t know I had a short stint in New England. It was a spectacular place.
What did you learn about Tom Brady in that time that you didn’t already know?
I knew he was obviously a really clutch guy on third down, moves well in the pocket and all that, but I didn’t know really how good he was with his protections. He’s been in that offense for so long. He knows it like the back of his hand. That’s the key for a quarterback to have success, knowing how to protect yourself and making sure that your backside is always taken care of.
A lot of people don’t like him because he wins so much. Was he a good teammate?
He was a great teammate. We were in the same group up in Indianapolis and I remember we were joking around with each other, when you have to pretty much strip naked and stand in line in front of all these people. We just hit it off great. He’s such an easy-going guy. He’d take us places and go and do a lot of cool things, play golf, but he’s a competitor. We were competing pretty much every day whether it was throwing balls in the net or whatever. He’s just a great person and I enjoy being around him and seeing him at the Derby every year now, so it’s pretty cool.
Did you remind him that you were picked ahead of him?
No, I never brought it up, but he reminded me. That really helped him I think, more than anything, pushed him, because he felt like anybody does, that you should go a little bit higher, a little better. That really drove him to be a better player and I think he wouldn’t change that at all. He landed in a great spot, with a great organization and it all just kind of fell into place for him.
Was there anything different about Bill Belichick?
Yeah, he’s very negative and it’s a hard thing too. Typically coaches will be negative one time and then will pick you up in different situations. I didn’t see that as much when I was there in the offseason. He’s a hard-nosed guy. He likes his veteran guys a lot, and so it was a different style of coaching that I wasn’t really used to. It’s hard to argue with his success and he’s done such a great job up there. I’ve always thought that it’s not the coaches that make an organization – it’s the players, and he’s had some great players around him.
It looked like you were set to be the starting quarterback in Atlanta and then they picked Matt Ryan, so what is your relationship like with him?
Well, I knew when you pick somebody third pick in the draft that this guy is going to come in and he’s going to play pretty quick. You can either battle or you can make the best of it. I chose to make it a really good environment for him and to be a mentor style of quarterback. Playing with him, I knew that this kid was going to be really, really good. The more I saw him off the field and the small things, similar to Tom Brady, to make him such a successful quarterback, that’s when I was like, “You know what, let’s make the best out of this. This guy is going to be really good.” You are there for the same goal, to win a Super Bowl, and we really worked together. When I was in there he was pulling for me like crazy, and when he was in there, I was doing the same. We became really close friends.
How much of a relationship have you maintained with him?
He got me tickets to the NFC Championship game. He is such a good person and very humble and never forgets where he came from. He’s still pretty cheap, even though he makes millions. That’s just the way Matt is, but he’s just a great person, how he treats his teammates, family and all the people that come up to ask him for autographs. I’m just so happy for his success and I really think he’s got a chance to put a ring on his finger real soon.
If Matt asked you for some advice about dealing with Super Bowl week and all the hype, what would you tell him?
It was my rookie year when we went to the Super Bowl in Baltimore and I remember there is a lot going on. You just have to stick with your schedule. He’s a very schedule-oriented guy. You want to make sure that you’re doing everything you’ve been doing, not anything more, but everything you’ve been doing in the previous weeks to build up to this game and just try to have fun with it. You never know how many opportunities you’re going to have. I had it my rookie year and that was the only time I was ever there, so just take advantage of it.
How did you get involved with Baptist Health Performance Training?
It’s the best facility in town. You can be an athlete, you can not be an athlete and come out here. Myself and Eric Wood, Breno Giocomini and Deion Branch, we’re all a part of this and it’s been a real fun experience to hopefully grow something that’s never been here. I would have loved to, in high school or in middle school, have someone to come to prepare me for the next level. Eric has me back out here working out and I’m trying to get back in shape. You kind of have that locker room feel when you come here, and that’s one thing that you definitely miss when you leave the football field. VT