New England's stay in the postseason was brief thanks to a 33-14 first round playoff defeat at home to the Baltimore Ravens. But it's impressive the team even made it that far, say the Patriots and their fans, considering they've were stuck starting backup quarterback Tom Brady.
"Drew Bledsoe is our franchise quarterback has been since we drafted him No. 1 overall in 1993," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "He's been to four Pro Bowls. So when you lose someone like him to injury and have to start a sixth round compensatory draft choice well, that's tough to overcome. With Drew in there, I'm confident we would have won the Super Bowl."
Bledsoe went down to injury on September 23, 2001 on a brutal hit by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, forcing the untested and lightly regarded Brady into the lineup. Despite flashes of good play, Brady was only able to win three Super Bowls in his nine seasons, failing almost 67-percent of the time. Sunday against the Ravens he proved again that he is not up to the challenge, going 23-for-42 for 154 yards, three interceptions and a lost fumble.
"Tom can't be expected to do more than what is realistic," said head coach Bill Belichick. "There's a reason someone is drafted in the sixth round. If we thought he was better than that or expected him to be great, we wouldn't have risked drafting him that late. I think he has done fairly well considering his obvious limitations."
Patriots season ticket holder Billy Flanigan, who left Sunday's loss halfway through the third quarter to go home and watch the Celtics, says New England would have crushed Baltimore if Bledsoe was in there.
"We're just not getting any breaks," he said. "Bledsoe had a rocket arm. He wouldn't be throwing those weak interceptions off his back foot like this scrub from Michigan. And of course the Jets tried to hurt Drew because they knew they might have to face us in the playoffs. The Patriots would never cheat like that."
With Bledsoe's status up in the air for the 2010 season, Flanigan says he knows what the Patriots need to return to their rightful home atop football.
"We need a few more of these Julian Edelman guys," said Flanigan. "I've been saying all along that he's awesome."
Picture A goat cuddles a goat.
Tom Brady says Randy Moss is responsible. Hard-working. He has vouched for him in the press.
And Brady shows he means what he says by letting his star wide receiver babysit his newborn son.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was flagged for emotionally roughing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady yesterday after a hit left the star quarterback feeling upset and unloved.
"I didn't care for that! I didn't care for that one bit!" snapped Brady, stomping his foot as he pulled himself up off the ground. Moments later, official Tom Winter threw a flag, penalizing Suggs and the Ravens for an infraction never before called in organized football.
"The new rules in place make our job very clear as officials," said Winter, explaining his call. "We are to protect the quarterback, especially star quarterbacks, and especially this star quarterback. Brady's injury last year is what prompted all of these rule changes."
Brady says Winter made the right call.
"I don't think people understand how hard it is to be me. I'm coming back from a knee injury, my team is struggling, I have one child out of wedlock, another child on the way, very high-maintenance dogs to take care of, I'm expected to look stylish all the time and I have the stress of physically satisfying a woman millions of men around the world would love a shot at. And then when someone tackles me, well " he said, tearing up. "It can be very, very hard, okay? It can be very hard on my psyche."
Suggs said he had no intention of emotionally harming Brady, only sacking him and maybe creating a turnover.
"I wasn't trying to emotionally rough the guy," said Suggs. "Physically harming him would have been awesome, but all that touchy-feely emotional crap is what's killing football. I just wanted to maim the guy."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he will examine the emotionally roughing the quarterback call and evaluate how it should be called in the future.
"I know this is a tough judgment call for our officials," said Goodell. "And I don't want to make their job any tougher than it is already. So I think what we'll probably do is have Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning all have the power to call this penalty themselves when they feel they have been emotionally harmed. That's the only way to accomplish the true goal and spirit of the new rules we put in place."
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called his star quarterback this morning to urge him to abort his child with model Gisele Bundchen for financial reasons.
“Decisions like these have to be made with your heart, not your head,” Belichick told Tom Brady. “I know. I have experience with this kind of thing. You can’t always make the popular decision. A kid costs way above its true value – they contribute almost nothing for several years – and are not worth a long-term investment. I see children as sort of Troy Brown in even tinier forms.”
Brady said he values his head coach’s opinion and guidance in all areas, and will take his latest advice under serious consideration.
“Bill has gotten rid of some players I really liked during my time with the Patriots,” said Brady. “A lot of the moves I didn’t initially agree with, but they turned out to be the right decisions in the end. That’s how this would probably be. I’d like to have a child and meet it and help raise it, but that’s an emotional viewpoint, not a rational one. Now I just need to get Gisele to agree to an abortion. And I really hope she does, because if she says no, Bill will think I’m controlled by a woman and will think less of me.”
Belichick stressed to his quarterback that his own experience with children makes his suggestion to abort one to be listened to.
“Are kids nice to have around sometimes? Sure,” said Belichick. “But what is life about – success, or superficial happiness? I’d love to have a fun locker room and a fun home, but it means nothing if you’re not winning.”
And while Belichick says he mostly has Brady’s well-being in mind, he admits he wants the child aborted for selfish reasons, too.
“I’ve seen a lot of careers go in the crapper when people have kids,” said Belichick. “And if Brady starts playing like poorly, that reflects on me and I won’t put up with that. If he has this kid, the next thing I know he’ll be coming to practice with pictures to show and interrupting drills to talk about how his stupid little kid can roll over now or something. I hate listening to that sh-t. It makes me want to puke.”
But no matter what happens, Brady says his coach will support him.
“He told me to abort it, yes,” said Brady. “But he was also happy to hear I had gotten another woman pregnant. He said that he long had a hunch that I was a ‘homo’ – to use his words – because of the way I dress and that he’d ‘rather not have one of those kind on his team.’”
Although he suffered a serious knee injury less than nine months ago, the New England Patriots reported this week that star quarterback Tom Brady is as healthy as he ever has been. And they punctuated that point by saying that if the season started today, Brady would be listed on the team’s injury report as “Questionable.”
“It’s great to have Tom back to being a 50-percent chance to play,” said head coach Bill Belichick. “He looks outstanding. As good as he has ever looked. It really gives me a lot of hope for the season – hope, that is, that he can drag himself onto the field for our opener. I don’t know. We’ll see. I definitely think the Bills should spend time preparing for our backup to possibly start, too.”
While Brady’s knee is testing at 100-percent, the Patriots say that has no baring on his chronically and vaguely injured shoulder, elbow and ankle. And that’s not even taking into account other possible ailments.
“Of course, there could be some lurking health danger,” said Belichick. “A tumor, a blood vessel in his brain that is ready to burst, a suspicious mole. People think my use of the injury report makes a mockery of NFL rules. They think I’m giving the finger to the league. But I see it more as a reflection of my outlook on the fragility of life – that we all are delicate beings who must cherish each day. Or some f—king sh!t like that.”
But while the Patriots insist Brady is back to normal, those close to the team suspect otherwise.
“I have covered this team for years,” said beat writer Mike Lowell. “When it comes to injuries, I know to believe the opposite. So I think Tom Brady is not doing well at all. In fact, he may be dying. The Brady we saw the other day might have even been a look-alike to cover up that he’s already dead.”