The New England Patriots activated back-up QB Jacoby Brissett from the injured reserve this week and revealed their short-term plan for the franchise in the process.
With one move, the Patriots showed that they’ve settled on QB Tom Brady to lead the team over the next few years, with Brissett at the primary back-up. The activation also points towards a trade for back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo over the offseason.
The Patriots wanted to get Brissett back in action at practice so he can continue to develop with the team and grow as a player for when he’ll be the primary back-up in 2017. Keeping Brissett off the roster for the remainder of the 2016 season would start the quarterback behind the eight ball next year and could possibly have a negative impact on the team’s success.
Brady signed a two-year extension this past March that keeps him under contract with the Patriots through 2019 and his age-42 season. Head coach Bill Belichick must believe that Brady’s All Pro caliber season can continue into the coming years, and Brady’s given the coaching staff no reason to think otherwise.
MMQB’s Albert Breer shares a great quote from Brady in 2012 in this week’s Game Plan that reveals part of Brady’s mental approach to the game.
“Many football players love playing in the games deep into their 30s,” Breer writes. “It’s the grind of the other 330 or so days a year that they grow sick of. Conversely, here’s what Brady said to Tom Brady Sr. before the Patriots opened training camp in 2012: ‘Dad, I never want to work as hard as you work. I get to go to work in sweats, the Patriots feed me, I hang out with my friends, I get to exercise, and I play games. Why would I ever want to do anything different?’”
Brady loves the process and his fire hasn’t flickered like it has for some other aging players. Brady has improved his play in each of the past three seasons and there’s no knowing what he’ll focus his attention on this upcoming offseason.
But the activation of Brissett shows that the Patriots think that Brady will continue to play at a high level for the next few years- and maybe beyond.