Tom Brady and Daunte Cullpepper have several things in common. Both have been to Pro Bowls. Both have worked with Randy Moss. Both have torn their ACL and MCL at the same time. After Cullpepper's crippling injury, his scrambling passing game collapsed faster than the Raiders after the Snow Bowl. Since that 2005 season, he has only thrown 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Now Tom Brady is not a scrambling quarterback (well, except against Brian Urlacher), but these stats are still extremely disturbing. This is probably a worst-case scenario...
Brady returns againist the Buffalo Bills after playing only the opening drives during the pre-season. At Week 6, Brady has left several games with knee complications. His number of sacks has drastically increased and his touchdowns have gone down while his interceptions have gone up. The Patriots are 2-4. Coach Belichick wishes to stick with the MVP Brady while our new general manager is taking heat for not trading or signing a veteran quaterback to be Brady's "security blanket". Fast foward to Week 10, the Pats are now at .500 and seem to be rallying in the AFC East and the Wild Card race. During the Week 10 game againist the Indianapolis Colts, Dwight Freeney absolutly drills Brady and he lands awkwardly on his knee. He has to be carted off the field in front of the hostile Lucas Oil crowd. What now?
For our purposes, Edelman is now a wide reciever and Belichick keeps all three replacement quarterbacks, O'Connell, Gutierrez, and Hoyer.
Kevin O'Connell -- He is the same build as Tom (6'5 225lbs to 6'4 225lbs). He ran the second fastest 40 yard time at the NFL combine for a quarterback (which is a big contrast to Brady). He was a team captain for 3 years at San Diego State (a born leader). He completed 62% of his passes at San Diego State during his only full season (Brady completed 65% of his passes during his 2007 MVP season). He is the same type of quarterback as Tom Brady, but he has better speed. His speed is a big part of his game though and Belichick may have to change a good amount of his offense to suit his style of play.
Matt Gutierrez -- He was supposed to be the "man" at Michigan, but injuries sent him to Idaho State. He went undrafted like Brady (if it matters). He is heavier than Brady, but shorter (6'3 230lbs to 6'4 225lbs). He had 116.87 quarterback rating at Idaho State which is just short of Tom's 117 for his 2007 MVP season. He threw 16 touchdowns with 14 interceptions at Idaho State. He seems to throw about as many touchdowns as he does interceptions as he also threw 2 touchdowns to 2 interceptions in the pre-season last year. His completion rate was only 54% in his best college year. Gutierrez is unproven and Michigan didn't have the confidense in him to return him to his starter job after his torn labrum.
Brian Hoyer -- He's a rookie. He would have the least knowledge of the offense. He is just slightly smaller than Brady (6'3 215lbs to 6'4 225). His completion percentage in his best year was 59%, but in his last year it was only 51% (compared to Brady's 65%). He threw 20 touchdowns to 11 interceptions at MSU in his best year, but in his last year, his touchdowns and interception numbers evened out at 9. Coming off his best year, he responded with a mediocre season which makes me wonder if he can fight through adversity and win this job.
Who would take over? Well, its not up to me. It all comes down on the shoulders of Coach Belichick. Who do you think should take over?