(Editor's Note: This is a piece patriotguy2 wrote on September 19th. It's been brought back because it's particularly relevant)
What I loved most about Tom Brady, wast how he stressed that the best receiver, for him, is the open one. In the early years of this decade, we had no name receivers. In those same early years of the decade, we won 3 Superbowls with those "no name" receivers. The reason being not only because we had a VERY good defense, but because Brady made smart passes to open receivers. There was no favorite.
In 2007, we brought in Wes Welker and Randy Moss and witnessed a massacre of a passing attack. However great '07 was, Brady was very accurate placing the ball perfectly on deep passes and made smart throws to Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, and Ben Watson. He was distributing the ball to the open man. Even in times when Moss was not always open, Brady had the great accuracy, and Moss just had to be Moss.
Then, in 2008, Brady gets injured.
In 2009, Brady comes back. Throughout the season, Brady STRUGGLED to throw an ACCURATE deep pass to Moss. Also, coming after the knee accident, he checked down A LOT to Welker. More often than we'd like, but we:
A) Didn't have Gaffney, or a VERY good 3rd WR
B) Didn't have Stallworth to stretch the field more
C) Had Bill O'Brien and his
awesome play calls
So essentially he ONLY had Moss and Welker. He didn't have those weapons from 07. So, with the play calling, Brady continued to try and throw deep to Moss- sometimes into double coverage. He still tried to throw it safe, but the long pass didn't work as well as '07. Even though the deep pass wasn't working, he had Welker to check down to- and he became very reliant on Welker. Moss was great as that downfield receiver, but throwing it deep did not work as well, and throwing it to Welker became an addiction. He was always open, so Brady loved throwing it to him.
Also, Bill O'Brien and his "brilliant" design calls, he essentially had Brady only use Moss and Welker, and we didn't see much of Watson or any other receiver at all. Our play calling was not diverse, and that especially failed in the second half where our inconsistencies shined the most.
Which brings us to now.
Find out about NOW after the jump!
In 2010, we brought in a host of weapons. Brandon Tate recovers and brings us speed and quickness down the field and across the midfield. Welker is back. Aaron Hernandez looks like a Dallas Clark TE, Rob Gronkowski is our GIANT Red zone TE threat, as well as an all around beast, Taylor Price looks to have great potential, Alge Crumpler has been solid for us, and Julian Edelman looks like a Welker clone. How many weapons is that added to Moss and Welker? I think I counted 6, not including Welker.
We have seen flashes of this offense's potential, but in the second half, much like in 09, it was inconsistent in the second half. However, there is more season to play.
Brady kept throwing it deep to Moss against the Jets, instead of reading the defense and making the best decision. Where was Welker? Where was Hernandez? Of course Brady found Welker much in the 1st game, but he was non-existent in the second game.
We didn't run the ball as much, and we didn't utilize our TEs. We can easily pin this on Bill O'Brien, but much was Brady's fault as well.
How many times does Brady have to throw it downfield to Moss before he realizes that throwing it downfield to Moss (especially on 3rd downs) is NOT the best decision to make? Is it because Brady WANTS to have that ariel attack of 2007? Maybe. Regardless, that was Brady's bad decision making. He should have been moving his receivers/TEs around. Picking up mis-matches and exposing them. And, most importantly, THROW IT TO THE OPEN RECEIVER.
Which brings me to my dilema: Moss.
I have had disturbing thoughts on what this offense will be like WITHOUT Moss, but they are good disturbing thoughts (according to my brain).
Without Moss, Brady doesn't always have to look downfield, and chuck it up to Moss. This may be a good thing, as that Brady is not as godly accurate as 07.
Without Moss, Brady will be forced to look to the #2, #3, #4, #5 receivers. In other words, he'll most likely be looking to the open WR.
Now, you may say that why wouldn't you want to throw it to your best WR? Well... the thing is we HAVE all these weapons now. We can't afford to have a "primary" receiver. We MUST spread the ball around evenly. If having Moss prevents Brady from spreading the ball around- simply because Moss wants to feel "wanted" and needs Brady to throw it deep, because he feels he deserves the ball and not because he is open- then I’d have to say… I’d rather not have Moss on the team.
Without Moss, I feel that Brady might be like Brady of 01-06. The Brady that looks to the open WR. In case people say that Brady will basically look to Welker the most if Moss is gone, which I say in return, "Is he open?" He'll be forced to look through the options, look at the match-ups, and exploit them.
Without Moss, will it force Bill O'B to be more diverse? I'd like to think so.
Without Moss, will it force Brady to make the SMART throws rather than the launching the ball and hoping someone gets it? I don't know, but maybe.
I'm not sure how I feel about this subject. Please, help me with this guys. DISCUSS!