ANN ARBOR, Mich. — All it took was a look from Tom Brady to sway Jim Harbaugh.
The second-year Michigan coach and former NFL quarterback saw the New England Patriots quarterback standing on the field at Michigan Stadium, and waited until he caught Brady’s eye.
Then, Brady nodded, and Harbaugh raised the ball and threw his first pass to the former Michigan quarterback … and a connection was made. Just as Harbaugh hoped.
“Before I did this, I thought, ‘It would be really cool to play catch with Tom Brady,’ ” Harbaugh said during his Monday night radio show on WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 17, 2016
Brady served as Michigan’s honorary captain prior to Michigan’s 45-28 win over Colorado on Saturday. He’s filling some free time as he has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season because of his involvement in “Deflategate,” and the Patriots’ use of deflated footballs during a 2015 playoff game.
Brady has won four Super Bowl championships with the Patriots, and played for Michigan from 1995 to 1999. Brady spoke to the Wolverines Friday night, and was part of the pregame coin flip between captains from Michigan and Colorado.
Brady, however, didn’t stick around to watch the Wolverines’ comeback from a 21-7 deficit on Saturday; former Michigan equipment manager Jon Falk said he drove Brady to the airport in the first half of Saturday’s game. Brady, Falk said, hoped Michigan would turn around the game against Colorado.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Harbaugh said of Michigan’s mindset at halftime. “What I sensed from the team, it wasn’t nervous. It was competitive. Our team, you could hear them talking. This was a football fight, and they felt good that they had come back from that 14-point deficit out of the chute and we knew we were in a game. We were competing. Hey, it feels good.
“Fight or flight. We learned it on the playground as youngsters. I don’t know if that happens that much anymore.”
Was Harbaugh starstruck by the presence — and the response — of one of the NFL’s most marketable quarterbacks?
“He was so good to everybody,” Harbaugh said of Brady. “Everybody was thrilled to have him there.”