New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the season and he’s not allowed to speak with the Patriots coaches or attend practices.
He’s not even allowed to talk football with his teammates.
“[Julian Edelman], Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and any other Patriots pass catcher are not allowed go to Brady’s backyard, or non-Gillette Stadium field of choice, and throw the ball around with the suspended quarterback,” the Herald’s Karen Guregian reports. “Brady can’t ‘engage in any team football-related activities or discussions with teammates, even if away from the club facility.’ Playing catch is among the prohibitions, according to a set of parameters provided by [NFL VP of communications Brian McCarthy].”
This is brutal because it means that Brady’s rust in week 5 against the Browns is going to be pretty serious. He will actually be separated from his teammates for an entire month and there’s no way Brady and the Patriots would dream of finding a loophole in the wording.
So what should Brady do? He can’t sit on his couch for a month. He needs to stay sharp and involved in his playbook, even if he can’t get directions from the coaching staff. He’s not allowed to receive game film from the team, either.
Maybe he should call his former teammates Wes Welker to see if he’s free for a quick game of catch in the backyard. Welker hasn’t decided if he’s going to retire, but he would be a great replica for Amendola’s usage in the offense. Old pal Deion Branch might be a good person to call, too.
And maybe the Patriots might cut a few receivers during camp. Maybe veteran Nate Washington doesn’t make the roster and doesn’t sign with another team- could he move in with Brady for the first month of the season so they can practice?
“I’m pretty sure [Brady] has that lined up already. That’s the type of guy he is, that’s the type of competitor he is,” former running back Kevin Faulk told the Herald. “He’s going to try and find someone that still has a little something in the tank that can work him, as much as he can work them. He’ll want to throw to someone who’s pretty familiar with the offense.”
Personally, I think Brady should call up the Patriots (eventual) Hall of Fame squad. Call Welker and Faulk and Branch and Randy Moss and Troy Brown and Corey Dillon and play some backyard football. Maybe Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, and a few other linemen are in the area, too, so he can work on calling out pass protections.
I know Jerod Mayo and Tedy Bruschi and Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy are free, so maybe they can help out on defense.
You know, on second thought, I’d probably watch this All 2000s Patriots team scrimmage before I’d watch the Patriots take on the Dolphins in week 2, and I’m only half joking. Tom has to find a way to make this happen.