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Tony's Top 5 candidates to step up in Brady's absence

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  September 7, 2008 10:15 PM

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5
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?
4
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?
3
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.
2
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.
1
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.

Tony's Top 5

Favorite blog entries

5
The final chapter on Teixeira and How Red Sox pitchers work the strike zone Jan. 7, 2009 and July 17, 2009. Some actual reporting – an obsession with Mark Teixeira and the art of pitching.
4
For 2011 Red Sox, there was plenty of blame to go around Oct. 1, 2011. The disgraceful collapse of the Red Sox stoked the fire in all of us.
3
Behind Garnett and James, Celtics and Heat are digging in June 4, 2012. Improbably, the Celtics pushed the Heat to the limit.
2
Thrill is back for Patriots Jan. 30, 2012. Another Super Bowl has even Bill Belichick musing.
1
You’ve got to believe June 15, 2011. On the morning of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, we all had reason to believe.
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Updated: Mar 1, 07:24 AM

About Mazz

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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