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Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff September 7, 2008 10:15 PM
Matt Cassel, QB. Drafted in 2005, he's had three full seasons as Brady's understudy. So is he the next Tom Brady? Or just another Tommy Hodson?
Stephen Gostkowski, K. Why is he even on this list? Think about it: With Brady out, doesn't it stand to reason that the Pats might have to start converting field goals?
The defense. Last year, the Pats set an NFL record for points scored and dominated games with their offense. Without Brady, their ability to stop opponents grows in importance.
The running backs. Suddenly, keeping five in the backfield doesn't seem like such a bad idea. Of Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, LaMont Jordan, Kevin Faulk, and Heath Evans, the Pats may need all of them.
Bill Belichick. The mastermind has arguably his greatest challenge. If he can win a title without Brady, he'll go down as the undisputed Best Coach in History.
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Tony Massarotti is a Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. A lifelong Bostonian, Massarotti graduated from Waltham High School and Tufts University. He was voted the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in 2000 and 2008 and has been a finalist for the award on several other occasions. This blog won a 2008 EPpy award for "Best Sports Blog".
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