Re: Brady In Decline?
posted at 1/28/2013 7:34 PM EST
He might be declining a bit, though I think it has a lot to do with the system around him not playing as much to his stregnths. That said, even in decline, there aren't many guys in the NFL...ever.... that are on the level that he is now. Where did the screens go? Where did the play-actions, followed by a long ball TD go?
I look at a guy like Vereen and I think "That is a guy just built for the screen game". Good hands, dual threat as a runner to keep the D honest and blazing fast in the open field. Is it the current WRs not being good enough blockers to succeed at it as often? Perhaps that plays a part, but if so, shame on BB for not finding better blockers at that position, that used to be a requirement to get any snaps at WR here! Can't Hernandez split out wide? I know he isn't a good enough blocked to beat LBs with any consistency, but someone his size should be able to outmuscle most of the DBs in the NFL. While mentioning Hern, why not have him lined up as a FB more often? They did it in Denver last year and Brady played one of the best games of his career, the D didn't know how to stop it.
I see a guy like Jeff Demps coming back next year and I think he is a guy that could be a Darren Sproles like playmaker, deployed in a wide variety of roles, including screens and the occasional deep route. Will they use him as such? Or will they line him up like Woodhead and slam him up the middle for 1-2 yards? Speaking of Woodhead, great playmaker, good clutch player, but he is better in space, end of story, people have caught on to the whole "letting him get lost in the crowd" strategy.
I think too often they take their long shots on 3rd down...why? Unless there is a guy literally open by 10 yards, why chance it? I remember countless times, seeing the Pats at 2nd and 1-5 yards, drop back, sell play-action and nail a wide open deep ball, where did that go? That's the kind of play I think they paid Lloyd to make...but they were so few and far between. The kind of play where I think Gronk could be HUGE running down the seam. Get Gronk running full steam with nobody but a Safety to stop him? Wouldn't want to be that guy!
Overall, yes, Brady was not as good this year, but I think he can rise again if the offense evolves around him, like it did under Weiss. And for the love of god, quit going empty backfield on 3rd on short, at least leave the possibility of a run back there for them to respect! At the very least the back can be a personal protector for Brady and he can quit getting rocked so often on plays like that! And since I feel I've been saying mostly negative things, here is a big positive, Brady is still money on QB Sneaks, and anyone that says he is soft is ignoring all the times he runs to the line and goes charging right into the midle of the D-Line!