Rex Ryan undoubtedly is among the loudest of the New England Patriots’ Monday morning doubters.
The former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst attempted to explain why the Patriots have failed to hit their previous heights, saying Monday morning on “Get Up!” the Patriots, particularly key players like Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady, are older and slower than they were before.
?They’re absolutely in trouble,” Ryan said. “I’ve been saying it for weeks now, this is not the same Patriots team. The reason why is simple: they?re older, they?re slower, and eventually Father Time catches up to you.”
Ryan gushed over Brady’s excellence two months ago on the same program, but he now sings a different tune about the Patriots quarterback. Ryan believes Gronkowski also is past his best.
“If you look at Gronkowski, he?s running with a piano on his back. He?s not healthy. Tom (Brady), some of the throws we?ve seen, his feet aren?t even set. That is not the Tom Brady you?re used to seeing. To me, that is the thing. The rush is bothering him. ? This team is older and slower and they are desperate for the (playoff) bye, and if they don?t get it, I think they are in trouble.”
Ryan delivered his scathing assessment of the Patriots hours after their 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their record to 9-5. While the Patriots remain on course for the playoffs, they might play on Wild Card Weekend for the first time since 2009.
Ryan believes the aura of invincibility with which the Patriots carried themselves in years past has evaporated.
“As a whole group, this team doesn’t scare anybody.”