Joe Montana, Jerry Rice. Jim Kelly, Andre Reed. Tom Brady, Wes Welk … err, I guess Brady must acclimate himself to a new core of receivers once again. It seemed that the New England Patriots couldn’t possibly let another one of Brady’s favorite targets walk away, but this practice is nothing new, of course.
I am somewhat knocking on the Pats organization for all the turnover at receiver but at the same time understanding it, as the advent of free agency changed the way teams would lock up receivers. Brady has also made do with all the change; though, it’s still hard not to marvel at how many times he brushed off losing his top target and adapted.
From the Deion Branch trade, to the Randy Moss unraveling, to the recent departure of Brandon Lloyd, Danny Woodhead and Welker, it’s hard to doubt this offense will get right back in sync Week 1.
That is not to say Brady can take this team to his sixth Super Bowl with any old group of bums. Right in the thick of his prime in the 2006 postseason, Brady couldn’t outduel Peyton Manning and co. in the AFC championship with the likes of Reche Caldwell heading the receiving corps.
This current group of passing-game weapons can’t even be spoken in the same breath, especially if Rob Gronkowski can keep his arm intact next season. Ditto for Danny Amendola. At worst, Brady can glue things together enough for the Patriots to make the postseason, which they’ve only missed once with him as starter for the full season.