Hal Bent of Cover32 listed five New England Patriots players who he believes are the most likely to disappoint in 2014. Hal listed WR Julian Edelman, DE Rob Ninkovich, G Logan Mankins, LB Jerod Mayo and QB Tom Brady.
To get my Ricky Bobby on, “with all do respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and dolphin gettin’ it on.”
Did Hal see what Brady did last season with almost no supporting cast and a team decimated by injuries? TE Rob Gronkowski began the season hurt and returned for only seven games before he suffered a torn ACL, which ended his season. Starting RT Sebastian Vollmer broke his leg and missed the second half of the season. Shane Vereen suffered a broken hand in Week 1 and didn’t return to the lineup until Week 11. WR Danny Amendola missed time due to injuries as well, which shocked no one. On defense, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly were all lost for the season due to injuries. Oh, and Gronkowski’s counterpart, TE Aaron Hernandez, was (and still is) in jail on murder charges, and Stevan Ridley had to be benched because he couldn’t get the Crisco off of his hands and he kept fumbling the football. The Patriots didn’t provide Brady with a physical, take-off-the-top-of-a-defense wide receiver. For some reason, other than when the Patriots had Randy Moss, they refused to get Brady the wide receiver he deserves.
Despite all of that, the Patriots were still ranked seventh in total offense and third in total points scored on their way to their third straight AFC Championship. Brady threw for 4,343 yards, 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2013. New England’s pass defense was less than terrific last season, and finished 2013 ranked 26th in pass yards per game. This season, the Patriots have upgraded their secondary by adding one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Darrelle Revis. New England also signed free-agent cornerback Brandon Browner. While it still remains to be seen exactly how good Browner will be with the Patriots, it’s probably safe to assume he’ll be an upgrade over last season.
Brady accomplished a lot last season and helped the Patriots overachieve given the lack of talent they had at certain positions and all of the injuries they sustained, and Hal thinks Brady will disappoint in 2014? I get that some NFL fans believe Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made Brady while others believe Brady made Belichick. The truth is, they are each one of the best ever at what they do and they happen to be lucky enough to be paired together. Not to put a jinx on Brady or anything, but the only time Brady has disappointed Patriots fans for more than a play or two was when the Patriots’ assassin Bernard Karmell Pollard rolled into Brady’s knee on the opening drive of the 2008 season and Brady tore his ACL and MCL and was lost for the entire season. Patriots fans are not worried about Brady being a disappointment in 2014. They are worried about who will take over the reins once Brady inevitably retires, which could be after his current contract expires.
Brady disappoint? Bring on the velvet painting.