Patriots Blog

Belichick foolishly denies Brady reps in genius move to preserve QB

Friday, August 10, 2018
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Bill Belichick foolishly denied Tom Brady much-needed reps in the Patriots preseason opener on Wednesday in a wise move to preserve his quarterback for the regular season.
Brady, who missed all of the team’s voluntary offseason training activities and has only played 18 professional seasons, is running out of time to sharpen his game readiness and congeal with the offense. He is also a 41-year old who could crumble to dust at any moment, and the team would be foolish to expose him to the unnecessary dangers inherent in professional football.
In what could have been Brady’s first live-game action since Super Bowl LII, the Patriots watched backup quarterback Brian Hoyer rally New England from a 17-0 deficit to beat an NFL team from the Southern Mid-Atlantic region that isn’t Baltimore, 26-17.
Hoyer struggled mightily in the first half, going 6-for-12 for 65 yards, proving that New England has no chance if it can’t keep Brady healthy. Hoyer then capably led the team in the second half, going 11-for-13 for 82 yards and two touchdown drives with a go-ahead 2-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter. This was a clear indication that the offense is in good hands should Brady go down.
Hoyer’s performance begs the following questions: 1. Should the Patriots bubble wrap Brady for the remainder of the preseason and possibly longer? 2. Should the Patriots have given Brady some reps on Wednesday to help make up for the time he lost in OTAs?
When asked to comment on why he didn’t play Brady in this game, Belichick would not give any insight on whether he is an idiot who wasted a fleeting chance to prepare his quarterback or a genius who knowingly protected the game’s all-time greatest player from needless damage.
“Some players played, some players didn’t,” Belichick said either arrogantly dismissing the media or keeping his cards close to the vest. “We tried to play people we wanted to take a look at.”
The fans who came out for this one were robbed of an opportunity to see the legendary Brady play one series in a meaningless contest. Instead they had to settle for a thrilling football game if they bothered to stay past halftime.
The Patriots’ rally began with a 38-second scoring drive that ended with a 52-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, proving that the kicker is a good as ever, or that he can only make kicks in meaningless situations.
The Patriots then rode strong second-half performances from running backs Jeremy Hill (11 carries, 51 yards, one touchdown) and rookie free agent Ralph Webb (14 carries, 46 yards, two touchdowns, two 2-point conversions). Clearly, the Patriots have a pair of surprise roster candidates, or they had no choice but to force the run, because the pass struggled so much in the second half.
Without a doubt, the game was meaningless, and everything mattered.
Dave Brown is a freelance correspondent who covers the Patriots for the Monitor. You can follow him on Twitter @ThatDaveBrown.