I'm a musician. Bear with me while I share my personal experiences and make a correlation to pro football. As a musician, I've spent countless hours practicing scales, staring at sheet music or tablature, and learning hours of songs. I've also spent countless hours performing everywhere from biker bars to Irish pubs in Faneuil Hall. The progression of a musician, to simplify it a bit, is a) practice your butt off (or woodshed as we call it), b) practice with other musicians, and c) play a gig in front of people. Typically, you need "a" AND "b" to get "c". In a band, you could practice your behind off and know every note and change down to a "T". If others in the band haven't done their homework, the whole band suffers and people walk out the door and the club manager doesn't hire you back and...but that's a different story.
In some ways, this correlates to professional athletes. They a) practice their position, b) practice plays and drills with a team, and c) play a game. You need "a" AND "b", to have "c". Tom Brady is clearly one of the best at "a". Three rings is proof enough - he's THE most successful quarterback of the last 10 years. That can't be argued. Where we seem to be having trouble is "b".
Listening to the D.A. show on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Damon brought up some good points directly related to our conversation here. For some reason, the coaches kept calling downfield pass plays. I'm not sure why, but it's as if they're trying to force the long ball to Moss when Brady clearly isn't ready or, more accurately, the Brady/Moss connection isn't there. Damon's comment, and I think it a good one, was, "Didn't Denver's second half offense play like you'd wish the Patriots' offense had played?"
It is very clear the long game hasn't developed yet. So why not dink and dunk? Why not move the chains? Why not (gasp!!) use a 2008 Matt Cassel approach for the time being? Go for high percentage screens and slants. Remember Baltimore? Not a lot of passes past 15 yards. The result? A win against one of the toughest defenses in the league.
It's not about reliving the glory days of 2007. It's about winning football games...TODAY! The players are less to blame, IMHO, than the coaching and play calling. Stop trying to force fit Brady 2009 into Brady 2007. It's killing him and us. Turn Moss in (he's getting better at it), use Julian Edelman more, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk are huge assets, and exploit those tight ends up close and personal. Get Tom's confidence back and stop trying to get those 60 yard bombs. It ain't happening right now.
I'll hold my breath and wait for Bill's call...