For a while this summer, when there was little to talk about, there was concern that New England quarterback Tom Brady was going to take a significant step back and that the New England Patriots wouldn't be quite the same either.
Losing Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd (and Rob Gronkowski, for however long he is out) had to be a devastating blow, right?
By all accounts, Brady is having a great camp, which really shouldn't be a surprise at all. Then during the Patriots' competitive practices against the Eagles this week, Brady went bananas against them.
Brady completed all seven of his attempts in 7-on-7 drills against the Eagles, then completed 17-of-21 in 11-on-11 work, and two of the incompletions were dropped passes, according to the Boston Herald. That was on Tuesday. These were the Wednesday reports:
Remember what I said about secondary having better day? Brady in the process of tearing them apart. — Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) August 7, 2013
Brady and his WRs are putting on a clinic. Some unbelievable throws by 12 and catches by Dobson and Thompkins
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 7, 2013
That's against another NFL defense without Hernandez, Welker, Lloyd or Gronkowski. If you were hoping this was the year Brady and the Patriots fell a bit, maybe next year will be better.
"Our offense has been our offense for a long time, ever since I got here and different players have come and we've always adapted to the guys that we have and what they’re able to do best," Brady said Tuesday, according to the team's transcript. "That’s what we’re going to continue to try to do and hopefully the guys can come in and all create a role for themselves and we can hopefully go out and score a lot of points, that’s our goal."
People forget that Brady didn't always have great receivers, but he has usually been great.
In 2005, no Patriots receiver had more than 1,000 yards (Deion Branch came close, with 998). Brady threw for 4,110 yards, 26 touchdowns and the Patriots won 10 games and the AFC East.
In 2006, Brady's best receivers were Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel and 35-year-old Troy Brown. He threw for 3,529 yards, 24 touchdowns and the Patriots went 12-4. They would have probably won a Super Bowl had the Colts not pulled off an amazing comeback in the AFC championship game that year.
Brady will be fine. He's one of the greatest players in NFL history. Having better receivers around him wouldn't hurt, but he's going to win double-digit games and a division title with what he has.
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