There’s just something I have to get off my chest… This whole “Tom Brady isn’t an elite quarterback anymore” thing is really getting on my nerves.
I, and the rest of the writers here at Cover32, have been through this before, but on the eve of training camp, I just have to say it one more time:
Brady is an amazing quarterback; he’s an elite quarterback; he’s just as good as he ever was; and if he’s not the best quarterback in the league, he’s pretty damn close.
Whether it’s the guys at ESPN, John Madden—as our own Tanner Howard vented about the other day—or someone else, it seems like the NFL community simply forgot to watch Brady play last year. I mean, people do realize that Brady led the Patriots to a top-10 passing offense and the AFC Championship game last year, without the help of Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski or Wes Welker, right?
Sure, Peyton Manning outshone every other quarterback in the league last season, but he sure did have a lot of help. I’ve got a good feeling that Brady’s numbers would have taken a pretty significant spike had he had Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and Welker to throw to.
Do you know who Brady did have to throw to? Julian Edelman. A guy who had more tackles than receptions over the course of the previous three years. Now, not to take anything away from Edelman, he’s a good player, but he wasn’t just some buried superstar. He was literally the only receiver on the Patriots roster who Brady could trust, and in turn, Brady turned him to a star.
Just to repeat, BRADY turned Edelman into a star.
The Patriots receivers ranked second-worst in the league with a 6.6 percent drop rate, which amounted to a total of 41 drops last season. That’s not good. In fact, that’s miserable. Yet, somehow, Brady is the one who is blamed for his low completion rate—60.6 percent, his lowest since 2003.
Let’s just say that Brady’s receivers only dropped 26 passes, right around league average. In that case, his completion percentage would have catapulted all the way up to 63.4 percent, his career average. But if you listening to everyone else, it’s Brady’s fault.
This offseason has been extremely frustrating. I feel that all of these Brady haters have spent more time staring at box scores than game tape. But you know what? I don’t care anymore. It’s the start of training camp, Brady’s back in the saddle and I’m going to let him do all the talking.
Let’s get ready for some football.
Follow Michael Jaycox at @MilkyMike
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