Tom Brady isn’t a top-5 quarterback, according to new Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine, the New England Patriots signal-caller is still top-2.
Pettine, who was the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2013, would know — he’s faced Brady twice a year for for the past five seasons after previously coaching the New York Jets’ defense. Brady completed just 56.6 percent of his passes against the Bills in 2013 with 410 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, but the Patriots beat Buffalo in both contests.
“It’s beyond ridiculous,” Pettine told Greg Bedard of themmqb.com this week about the notion that Brady is no longer elite. “Top five? I mean, to me, it’s one and two (Brady and Peyton Manning) and then there’s a gap and then it’s probably (Drew) Brees and (Aaron) Rodgers would be three and four, however you want to order them. Until those two (Brady and Manning) retire, they’ll be one and two and then there will be a gap.”
Pettine, who was hired by the Browns this offseason, also faced Brees in 2013.
“That game (against Brady) is the ultimate dial-it-up, I have to be in something different (every play),” Pettine said. “Not only do I have to have a plan for the first half, but nobody’s better at second-half adjustments so we better come out in the second half, no matter what we’ve been successful with in the first half, we have to come up with something a little different in the second half. When you have success against him, I think that’s because you can keep him guessing a little bit, that he can’t get dialed in.”
So, there you have it. One of Brady’s biggest rivals over the past decade (Pettine coached with the Baltimore Ravens before his work with the Jets) still thinks the Patriots quarterback is as good as ever.