January 29, 2002

Bledsoe or Brady?: Go with experience or the one who brought you this far? Someone's going to be looking on from the sidelines. Belichick says he'll wait until wednesday to make the decision, but some think the decision has already been made.

posted by justgary to football at 03:26 AM - 21 comments

I'd have to go with Brady, but if the patriots fall behind early, I wouldn't hesitate to make the switch. Bledsoe seems better suited to bringing a team back from double digit deficits.

posted by justgary at 03:30 AM on January 29, 2002

It has to be Brady. Especially if you're Cinderella, you gotta dance with who brung ya...

posted by owillis at 06:31 AM on January 29, 2002

I agree. I subscribe to that theory also. But if you lose, you have 110 million sitting on your bench, and that's gotta hurt.

posted by justgary at 07:25 AM on January 29, 2002

The Rams are a speedy bunch. The Pats will need a QB who can create some time and space, and maybe even breakout for a long run. Blesdoe is not that guy. I know, I know, McNabb's speed and athleticism didn't help the Eagles last week. But, was it just me, or did McNabb seem to be hesitant to run? I thought a few times, especially towards the end of the game, he could have opted to run. I agree with Ray Ratto. Belichick will start Brady if he can.

posted by jacknose at 09:11 AM on January 29, 2002

Can Brady do any of those things? A friend of mine who has seen more of his games insists that his rep is entirely based on New England's dink-pass offense. While that works when your defense can keep a game close, if the Rams hang a couple of touchdowns on the Patriots, I'm not sure that Brady is a better choice than Bledsoe.

posted by rcade at 10:28 AM on January 29, 2002

But, was it just me, or did McNabb seem to be hesitant to run? The Eagles or McNabb have made this same stupid mistake other times in the season, most noticeable to me when they played the 'Skins. It seems they are trying to make him a "more traditional" QB - which is downright stupid because his running ability easily makes him as good a runner as most of the RBs in the league. I hate when coaches/players "get cute" instead of just playing to their strengths.

posted by owillis at 11:36 AM on January 29, 2002

Here's an analysis of Philly's Donovan-shackles

posted by owillis at 12:49 PM on January 29, 2002

rcade: interesting point. We could see Brady in for a while, and if he struggles, then we see Bledsoe. Honest question, though: does anyone actually think that it matters? The Patriots have only gotten this far through a series of flukes; the Rams have been fairly dominant against tough competition. No matter which QB starts for the Pats this game will be over by the middle of the second quarter, because neither QB will be able to score against the Ram's D, and the Ram's special teams won't give up the fluky TDs that the Steelers did.

posted by tieguy at 01:13 PM on January 29, 2002

I like the "damaged goods" argument from the link. If Bledsoe starts and falters, it'll look pretty bad for a damaged Brady to relieve him. If the Rams do hang up a couple of touchdowns, replacement at QB might seem like a morale boost, if its Bledsoe in for Brady. The other way around will seem like panic.

posted by Wulfgar! at 01:21 PM on January 29, 2002

Oh, and for what it is worth, the idea that there hasn't been a QB controversy since Super Bowl III (advanced by Ratto in his piece) is bunk- the Bob Griese won the 1972 SB without having played a full game since the fifth game of the season, if I remember right. [disclaimer: I was negative 6 years old at the time, so my memory of the event is a bit fuzzy ;)

posted by tieguy at 01:33 PM on January 29, 2002

tieguy, your memory is sound except that it was 1973, following the 1972 undefeated season run. And I don't think there was any controversy over the QB. Morrall was good, but ...Griese was healthy, Griese started, pretty much the end of the story then, (kinda like the Brady situation now).

posted by Wulfgar! at 01:45 PM on January 29, 2002

Here in Beantown, it was interesting to see an interview with Steve Grogan, former Pat quarterback. He's been in both places in his career; first as young upstart who takes the #1 spot and then as seasoned veteran who loses his job to new guy. FWIW, he said go with Brady. The offense is used to him and if he's healthy then he's still #1 choice. Belichick is trying to use this as an edge. I'm from New England and lord knows he needs all the help he can get . . .

posted by jeremias at 01:45 PM on January 29, 2002

The other way around will seem like panic. Anything can happen in the Superbowl, of course, but if I were the Pats, I'd beat the rush and start panicking now. Of course, what do I know? I'm from Seattle. We start wunderkind like Matt Hasselbeck while benching no-talent schmoes like Trent Dilfer. Word has it that next year, Holmgren is going to bench the entire offensive line in favor of Guys from the Crowd in Seats 215A-220A.

posted by Skot at 01:56 PM on January 29, 2002

I'd go with Brady as well, but only if he's 100%. High ankle sprains can take a few days or weeks to heal. Also, I love sportsfilter.

posted by corpse at 03:51 PM on January 29, 2002

Brady. Until he chokes. Then Bledsoe. Yeah, sportsfilter rocks!

posted by catatonic at 05:14 PM on January 29, 2002

while benching no-talent schmoes like Trent Dilfer You know, I'm just not ready to jump on the Dilfer train yet. He's lowered the bar for QBs by popularizing the "don't-lose QB" which makes for frighteningly bad play. I like the QB who can strap the team on his back and grab a win versus "Just hand it off to the running back and come back here and sit on the bench, so you don't break anything".

posted by owillis at 06:39 PM on January 29, 2002

I say Brady got them to the playoff, he's gotta get the start. And even if it is a stinkfest, you gotta give him at least the entire first half. I too love SpoFi!

posted by mick at 06:57 PM on January 29, 2002

Bledsoe throws harder than Brady. Brady's passes wobble. I don't understand why he doesn't get picked off more, actually.

posted by ajax at 07:40 PM on January 29, 2002

But the fact is, he doesn't get picked off (much), and hey, that's enough for staying within three touchdowns on Sunday, which far as I see will be some kind of small victory in and of itself. Absolutely pull the trigger for Bledsoe if he falters, but it's gotta be Brady. And Bledsoe will be part of the biggest off-season trade in years.

posted by chicobangs at 10:36 PM on January 29, 2002

The only team that can afford Bledsoe's salary is...wait for it...the Bengals!!! I think it'll happen, Mike Brown (Bengals Owner/GM) has always believed that a team must be built around a QB. The current quated going price by 'those in the know' is a first round pick and Peter Warrick for Bledsoe and Glenn.

posted by mick at 11:11 PM on January 29, 2002

It, unfortunately, has to be Brady if he's healthy and has been able to participate in practice. I'd love to see Drew win it and rub it in the face of everyone whoever doubted him. My only quibble with Brady, other than his less than impressive stats, is the complete lack of touch on deep passes (excpet for one against Indy). I hate SportsFilter: I was just putting the finishing touches on something similar. It's far more New England-centric, so maybe I won't give up yet. Ok, maybe "hate" is a little strong.

posted by yerfatma at 06:14 PM on January 30, 2002

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