Tom Brady has always had a knack for playing coy when asked pressing questions by the aggressively inquisitive Boston media. Perhaps he learned that skill from Bill Belichick.
His visibly swollen throwing hand has been subject of speculation, but Brady just won’t let on.
During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan,” Brady was asked about the apparent injury.
“I feel great. For this time of year, I feel exceptional,” Brady said. “I don’t have anything that affects anything I’m doing out on the field. Whatever it is, our lack of play on offense is more a lack of execution than anything.”
The questions surrounding Brady’s right hand first came about when a picture taken during a Make-A-Wish Foundation appearance showed his middle and ring fingers taped together. Another picture taken during the Patriots-Dolphins contest revealed additional swelling just above his wrist.
Although the quarterback insists his hand is not an issue, there is reason to believe it is affecting his performance.
The 36-year-old is having the worst statistical season of his career. Through eight games Brady possesses a measly 74.9 passer rating and has completed just 55.7 percent of his passes. He is also currently on pace for 18 touchdowns (fewest since 2001), 12 interceptions and 3,648 passing yards (fewest since 2006).
Brady’s drop in productivity can be attributed to the Patriots’ massive offseason overhaul in which he lost his All-Pro receiver Wes Welker, as well as tight end Aaron Hernandez. Add to the mix Rob Gronkowski’s extended absence and Danny Amendola’s struggles to stay healthy and you have a recipe for underwhelming numbers by Tom Terrific.
But still, that doesn’t figure to be a valid excuse; Brady has always found ways to get by with mediocre talent.
And sure, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dropson—oops I mean Dobson—have made their share of mistakes, but Brady (who is regarded as one of the most accurate passers in the history of the game) has routinely missed several of his receivers all year.
The only explanation seems to be his damaged throwing hand.
But in true Tom Brady fashion, we won’t hear a whimper from the eight-time Pro Bowler. He has always been about accountability, not excuses.
“I feel great,” he said during his postgame press conference. “For the eighth week of the year, I feel awesome.”
Expect Brady to continue dismissing any notion his poor play is injury-related. It’s quite possible we will only learn the true extent of the injury after the conclusion of the 2013 season.