Tom Brady was visibly upset with his receivers on Thursday night — and he had every right to be. Against the hapless New York Jets, his collection of rookie receivers couldn’t get their act together. It’s sad to watch a future Hall of Fame quarterback spend one of his last years as an elite quarterback throwing to receivers who don’t know where to be play after play.
I’ve watched every game of Brady’s New England Patriots career. I can remember where I was when Mo Lewis gave him his shot at an NFL career, I can remember where I was when the ‘tuck rule’ gave him his shot at playoff glory, and I will never forget where I was he gave himself his first Super Bowl win. Now I will never forget what it was like to see him watch pass after pass fall to the ground with befuddled receivers walking back to the huddle with blank stares on their faces.
Brady truly deserves better. He took a franchise that was primed for a dynasty — but never would have admitted Drew Bledsoe wasn’t the man to get them there — to five Super Bowls. He deserves to spend his football golden years leading a talented team into the playoffs, not struggling to beat the Jets.
The Patriots knew what they were giving him when they let Wes Welker go. Sure, they say they made him a respectable offer, but he wouldn’t have signed with them even if they did back up a Brinks truck to his doorstep. Welker was as good as gone years ago when they refused to give their most productive receiver a market-value contract. Instead they forced the franchise tag on him, making him play on a series of one-year deals.
Now, instead of throwing to Welker for the rest of his career, Brady is stuck trying to coach the likes of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. Both rookie receivers have the talent to end up as good players, but by the time that comes around Brady will be past his prime.
No, he doesn’t deserve to be asked to spend his last few good years training up the next crop of Patriots receivers. I don’t want to watch him do it, and he for sure doesn’t want to do it.
The Patriots knew what they were doing when they failed to get Brady any real receiving threats the last few years. Now we’re all forced to watch him struggle through the learning curve of his young receiving corps. He deserves better.