Re: What do the Pats need besides the Greatest QB of all Time?
posted at 2/9/2013 6:17 PM EST
In response to Salcon's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Making the playoffs is step one--something only 6 AFC teams do each year and something the Pats have done just about every year with Brady. All the bashers of Brady and the offensive philosophy really need to put that in their pipe and smoke it for a while. It's quite an accomplishment in its own right.
Beyond that, what's required to win it all is a bit of luck, a lack of injuries, good coaching, good players, a team that's fairly complete on defense, offense, and special teams, and good execution. I think the Pats' coaching is always good--unlike some, I'm not complaining about either offensive or defensive philosophy, schemes, game planning, or play-calling. I think the Pats are great at all of that.
The real problem, I think, is we never seem to get into the playoffs with a team that's complete enough, talented enough, or free enough from injuries. In both Super Bowls against the Giants we played a team with a great defensive line while at least two of our starting O-linemen were not 100%. The loss of Welker in 2009, and of Gronk in 2011 and 2012, were both difficult injuries for the offense to compensate for. We've also suffered from offenses that have been far too one-dimensional, not because of play calling, but because of one-dimensional talent: weak running backs until this year and a lack of deep receivers since Moss left. The offense is good, but it's far too dependent on the short passing game. We need more diversity. We got more diverse this year with improved running backs, but by the playoffs the receiving corp had been depleted to the point of being a weakness.
Then there's the defense. We simply can't rely on the defense to keep us in tight games. The run defense has often been good, but the pass defense has been dismal for years. We need better talent in the DBs, we need a pass rush, and we need better coverage from our LBs.
Great coaching and a great QB together get us to the brink of a championship every year. (Oddly, those are the two things that certain frequent posters on here bash constantly.) But we need a complete team--with more consistent talent across more areas than we have now.
Building and maintaining a great team is hard to do when you're always winning and picking late in every round, though. The draft is designed to make the good teams worse and the bad teams better. In addition, the salary cap makes it hard to build a team through free agency--and this creates even greater challenges for teams that are disadvantaged in the draft and can't stockpile good young players coming out of college. Belichick has done a great job fighting to keep the team competitive despite these disadvantages and challenges, but he hasn't been able to completely overcome a system that is purposely designed to make teams like the Pats weaker.
Best reply so far.
FWIW, I'm not trying to start a Brady bashing thread.
But obviously, if the greatest ever is not the problem I wanted to see what folks thought is the real problem.
If some people want to use the moniker GOAT then you have to think he would have been able to bring them over the top just once in these past seven or eight seasons after all he would get the lion's share of credit if they win so why not some of blame when they lose.
I guess they've been over-achieving all these years because of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Thanks . . . and on Brady, I'm not willing to go so far as to call him the GOAT. That's actually kind of silly I think because it's so hard to judge. Is he really better than Montana? Or even Manning? I think that's very subjective.
Regardless, I think Brady is darn good--but like any player not perfect. He can get you far, but he can't do it all by himself. He's also going to have off performances sometimes. That's when other players need to step up. My sense is Brady has not been a problem in the playoffs. Sure, he's made a few bad plays. But a lot of his poor plays are in part the result of poor execution or lack of talent elsewhere. If Brady is under pressure because the line can't stop the Giants four-man rush, if receivers aren't getting open or are dropping balls, if the running game is sputtering, Brady is going to look bad. Every once in a while, he'll do something boneheaded that's purely his fault--but a lot of the lame offensive performances of the past few years have had a lot to do with others besides Brady (or as well as him when Brady has made his own mistakes). Brady just doesn't come out and lay eggs playoff game after playoff game as some seem to think. Mostly, he looks bad because the guys around him aren't playing well or aren't good enough. This isn't to say he never makes a mistake . . . but he's not making one mistake after another. His mistakes are few and relatively far between. He's a great, great player. Greatest ever? I don't know. But among the top 20 at his position all time? Certainly.