In 2007 for the first time in his career Tom Brady played with an All-Pro wide receiver, in fact he played with two; Wes Welker and Randy Moss. In this offense we all know the results; records set and a perfect season. Why then in 2013 have we been running a methodical small-ball offense where drops and a few missed plays can stall a drive and cost points? The answer is Tom Brady’s health.
In addition to the obvious knee injury that cost us the season, and the Superbowl let us be honest, in 2008, Brady has had an oft-injured shoulder. It was slightly reported but was more serious than was released. I have inside information- no I will not name whom and if you do not believe me so be it, it is irrelevant to my post. In 2009, Brady was unsettled on his reworked knee and who wouldn’t be; he could have gone the way of Carson Palmer and never gotten his game back. It is hysterical that for this one year, 2009, Brady is now thought of as soft and afraid of contact. In 2009, Brady seemed hesitant to throw the long ball and who wouldn’t be as the leg is exposed fully striding into the pass. Long balls also allow the rush more time to get to you. So here is where the transition began.
Initially the transition to small ball seemed to be a way for Brady to protect himself. If you look at his throwing motion, it is different post 08 than pre 08. It is actually pretty now as Brady could throw it 50 yards standing in a barrel; it is amazing. In the last 3 seasons, Brady has looked more and more confident on the knee and has been striding into some deeper throws. Most of these have been play action where Brady has a nice pocket to throw from and can see anyone coming at him/his knees.
The time is now to incorporate a deep threat and I like most think this is something to add to the offense with or without Welker. Please though, stop complaining about the lack of one prior to this year because if we wanted to run a Baltimore type offense we might be talking about how good Mallet is/was because TFB was hurt again. If Flacco blows out his knee on a deep ball he will rethink his game too I promise. I would also rather be us than the Bronco’s, as great as the hype is, Manning cannot get his arm/shoulder/neck to do what his brain tells it/them to do. I feel for the guy because nothing I can think of would be more frustrating than diagnosing the coverage finding your open guy and throwing a wounded duck at him.
Randy Moss would not be a simple decoy in 2010 and was released. The question for the Patriots is what do you pay for a decoy. This is dependent on a few things, namely our FA WR Wes Welker. If Wes is back you have 5/6 very legit receiving options in Wes/Gronk/Herdo/Ballard/Lloyd and the 6th being Edelman. This also does not include the RB position. So what are you willing to pay someone who does not see the field often and might be targeted less? Not much especially when you need 2 CB/FS in any combination.