Kyle Brady sat in one of the top rows in a corner of the upper deck of Alltel Stadium last February and watched the Eagles and Patriots play Super Bowl XXXIX. It was a new perspective for a guy who is usually a lot closer to the action.
"It gives you a perspective of what you must look like; this is what it must look like for our fans," Brady said of his experience as a spectator.
He sat with Eagles fans, who quickly identified him. "They figured it out," Brady said.
The Jaguars tight end will try to improve his location for this season's Super Bowl. How about on the field?
"This team can define itself," Brady said. "Jack (Del Rio) is very big on mindset. The mentality this team brings to the field each week is going to define what it can do."
Brady would love to cap his career with a Super Bowl ring. It's a career that began with Jets fans booing his selection. Now, in his final years, Brady is the Jaguars' fixture at tight end; a player whose accomplishments as a blocker make pass-catching a secondary function.
"I can't believe it. It goes so fast," Brady said of his career.
On draft day, 1995, Brady was the top tight end on the board. Cleveland coach Bill Belichick so coveted Brady that when the Jets picked the Penn Stater one spot ahead of the Browns, who had the 10th overall pick, Belichick froze at the switch. The Browns ended up trading all the way down to number 30, where they selected a linebacker who became a legendary draft bust.
"They wanted Warren Sapp," Brady said of the booing Jets fans. "They were all yelling, 'We want Sapp, we want Sapp.'"
It's now part of draft lore, and every year ESPN's draft coverage includes a clip of that moment from '95. That's how Brady's career began; with controversy.
"I've enjoyed it, thoroughly," he said. "It started with some serious downers; 4-28," he said of the Jets' record in his first two seasons. "Then I had two straight AFC title games."
He teamed up with Bill Parcells in 1998, then signed on with the Jaguars in '99. "It changed the complexion of my career, being with Parcells. That's the reason (Tom) Coughlin liked me so much; because I worked hard in Parcells' system," Brady said.
"The goal was 10 (years). I'm just taking it one year at a time now," he added.
So, in his 11th pro season, what does Brady have left in the tank? Can he still be a top blocker? Can he be enough of a pass-catching threat to be an every-downs tight end?
"I was defined as a run-blocking tight end but, believe it or not, there was a five-year stretch when I was one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league. I'd still like to be involved (in the passing game). I can move fairly well still," Brady said, offering his own perspective on a career that appears to still be going strong.