What the stars of the Super Bowl looked like when their careers started

Tom Brady, Sean McVay, and more of the stars of Super Bowl LIII have grown up quite a bit since the start of their NFL careers.

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Tom Brady, Sean McVay, and more of the stars of Super Bowl LIII have grown up quite a bit since the start of their NFL careers.
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  • The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will meet in Super Bowl LIII this Sunday.
  • Many of the Patriots players and coaches have been a part of the dynasty for a decade or more, while the Rams are a relatively young team in comparison.
  • Below we take a look at what the biggest stars of Super Bowl LIII looked like when they started their NFL careers.
  • Follow along with all of INSIDER’s coverage of Super Bowl LIII here.

Tom Brady led the Patriots to his first Super Bowl in 2001, after taking over for an injured Drew Bledsoe.

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Brady has now reached the ninth Super Bowl of his career, more appearances than many franchises in the league.

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Read more: 38 examples of Tom Brady’s extraordinary competitiveness


The Rams traded up to draft Jared Goff with the first overall pick in 2016.

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Read more: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? All of the picks in the massive trade that helped the Rams land Jared Goff


Three seasons later, he’ll be taking snaps in the Super Bowl.

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Read more: The Rams spent more than $300 million to follow the newest method of team-building in the NFL, and it worked perfectly


Aaron Donald was drafted in the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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Since then, he’s become one of the most dominant players in the NFL, and the centerpiece of the Rams defense.

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Ndamukong Suh came into the NFL as a highly-touted defensive force, starting his career with the Lions.

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In the 2018 offseason, he joined the Los Angeles Rams, pairing with Donald to form the most fearsome interior defensive rush in recent memory.

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Rob Gronkowski was drafted by the Patriots in 2010 out of Arizona.

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After nearly a decade with the team, Gronkowski will go down as one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game.

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Julian Edelman is another Patriot-for-life, having been drafted to New England out of Kent State University in 2009.

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Edelman’s role has continuously evolved in the Patriots offense, but he’s as sure-handed as anyone in the league, and is one of Brady’s favorite targets in critical situations.

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Read more: 10 things you probably didn’t know about Julian Edelman, longtime Patriots wide receiver and Tom Brady’s right-hand man


Chris Hogan began his career by going undrafted, and was cut four times before he settled into an NFL roster.

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Now 30, Hogan is playing in his third Super Bowl with the Patriots.

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James White played four years at Wisconsin before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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A nuisance out of the backfield, he’s now a two-time Super Bowl champion.

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Brandin Cooks was drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, entering the league as one of the hottest wide receiver prospects in football.

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Cooks spent three seasons in New Orleans, jumped to the Patriots for the 2017 season, and now has a shot at revenge facing his former team in the Super Bowl.

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Josh Reynolds joined the Rams in 2017 after three years at Texas A&M.

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He’s become an important part of the Rams offense in a short time, and developed an impressive rhythm with Goff.

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Aqib Talib was a first round draft pick in 2008 after leading Kansas to a win in the Orange Bowl.

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After stints with the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Broncos, Talib is now an important veteran presence for a young Rams defense.

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Marcus Peters was the 18th overall draft pick in 2015, beginning his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Peters was another big acquisition for the Rams as they built out their defense in the offseason with hopes of the Super Bowl run they’ve now brought to fruition.

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Stephen Gostkowski was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

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Gostkowski is one of the most consistent kickers in the league, and has come through in plenty of big moments for the franchise.

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Dont’a Hightower joined the Patriots in the 2012 NFL Draft after winning two national championships with Alabama.

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He’s a two-time Super Bowl champion and made the Pro Bowl in 2016.

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Bill Belichick has been coaching in the NFL since the 1970s, but got his first head coaching gig with the Cleveland Browns in 1991.

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After taking over the top job in New England in 2000, he has helped the team become the greatest dynasty in football history, and will go down as one of the best coaches the sport has ever seen.

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Sean McVay was only 23 years old when he got his first job on an NFL coaching staff.

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He became the youngest head coach in NFL history when the Rams hired him in 2017, and has now brought the team to a Super Bowl after just two seasons.

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Read more: In just 2 years, 33-year-old Rams coach Sean McVay has become one of the most influential people in the NFL


Todd Gurley was the 10th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft after three dominant years at Georgia.

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Gurley is now widely considered one of the best running backs in the league, and signed a record-setting deal in the 2018 offseason.

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Wade Phillips is an elder statesman of the NFL, having coached professional football longer than McVay has been alive.

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Phillips now provides an old-school balance to McVay’s NFL philosophies.

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Sony Michel was one of the most explosive running backs in college football at Georgia, rushing alongside Nick Chubb in an unbelievably talented backfield.

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Michel immediately made an impact in his rookie season for the Patriots, and has cleared 100 yards rushing in both of New England’s playoff games so far.

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Greg Zuerlein joined the Rams as a sixth round pick in 2012.

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Zuerlein has hit numerous huge kicks for the Rams, including two late field goals in the NFC Championship that got Los Angeles into the Super Bowl.

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C.J. Anderson went undrafted in 2013, eventually signing with the Broncos.

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In 2018, Anderson bounced around the league, spending time with the Panthers and Raiders before joining the Rams in Week 16 to add some emergency depth. He immediately became a vital part of the Los Angeles attack.

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Josh McDaniels joined the Patriots as an assistant in 2001, and aside from a brief two years away from the franchise, has been as much a part of the dynasty as Belichick and Brady.

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McDaniels is now 41 and is widely considered a favorite to take over the Patriots head coaching job whenever Belichick should decide to retire.

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Rex Burkhead played for four years at Nebraska before entering the league in 2013.

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Burkhead is now an important part of the Patriots rushing attack, and scored the game-winning touchdowns of the AFC Championship.

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Patrick Chung was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

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Chung is another veteran member of the Patriot defense, and has won two titles with the team.

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Johnny Hekker went undrafted in 2012 after four years at Oregon State.

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Hekker is now a four-time first team All-Pro punter, and also works as a trick play specialist for the Rams.

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Devin McCourty was a first round draft pick out of Rutgers in 2010.

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McCourty now has two Super Bowl titles with the Patriots, and has teased a possible retirement after this year’s big game.

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More Super Bowl LIII coverage:

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