Probably THE most anticipated return in the NFL was that of his Terrific-ness, Tom Brady. Yes, I'm a homer and yes, he's my quarterback, but I'm not alone. Maybe you saw the media frenzy that surrounded Brady as soon as he approached the throng of reporters during last Thursday's OTA, or maybe you simply tuned out the spectacle. If you were like me, you'd write about it incessantly, while telling people you were sick of writing about it. Whatever. This blogging stuff is a little bit of a duality with some space time continuum thrown in. At any rate, let's get cracking!
Tom Brady - It's almost silly writing about Brady given all we've penned in the past week or so. Here comes some of that duality stuff: I'm tired of it, but it has to be done. Regarding Brady, I am cautiously optimistic. Sure, close friend and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. ElAttrach says wonderboy is ok, but I want to see him on the field and cranking away. Many of you have brought up some most excellent points regarding the "mental" aspect of his play: Will he favor the knee? Will he unconciously try to protect it? Who knows. I need to see him in a game before I can make a determination. The good news is there is absolutely no comparison between Brady's recovery and Manning's. Sure, Tom had a far more severe injury, but he also had significantly longer to recover. 'Nuff said.
Kevin O'Connell - Kevin rocketed from third in line to backup seven minutes into 2008. Somewhat untested, we haven't seen much of O'Connell. A few preseason appearances and some regular season showings gave me the impression he a) has a rocket for an arm, b) has mobility that makes Brady look like he's nailed to the turf, and c) needs NFL reps. The inevitable question, one that has surfaced constantly since Brady went down, is would he be ready if called on. I'm getting tired of that question; no one asked it before Tom went down and, all of a sudden, it's top on the list. Well, who knows if O'Connell would be ready. I'd have to say no because Cassel had three years in the system before he had to take over; NFL reps are the best way to get experience, but it doesn't hurt to know the system like Cassel did. I want to see a lot of preseason reps before I make a determination.
- Perennial third man, Matt will be battling for his job for the rest of his career. Dropped to the practice squad last season before Brady went down, he was promoted after "The Knee". I'd like to see him get some reps and maybe win the #3 battle over our next entry, Brian Hoyer.
Brian Hoyer - Brian hails from Brady's old haunt, Michigan. Aside from breaking the four year 6,000 yard throwing record, that's about all there is to know. He's there to challenge Gutierrez for a spot and add some depth. Thelike having some quarterbacks in the stable; had Brady not gone down, they would've carried three on the 53 man roster and one on the practice squad. Good luck Brian.
- You may be saying, "Dude, why are you listing Julian as a QB?" Well, dude, Julian is an everything guy. At Kent State, Edelman compiled over 3,100 yards in total offense as a quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. The Patriots have him lining up at wide receiver at this point. The current thinking is he'd be the ideal 'Wildcat' prospect.
All eyes are on Wonderboy. His presence on the field changes things and you've heard it from the likes ofand . Belichick has also acquired some new toys for Tom to play with and I'm jacked to see what he'll do with them. O'Connell needs more reps for me to develop a comfort level. The battle for #3 will be between Gutierrez and Hoyer. Edelman will be interesting to watch; as soon as defenses see him, they'll be thinking 'Wildcat', so it'll be cool to see how that unfolds. How will Belichick use him?