There will be quite a few quarterback controversies throughout NFL training camps this summer, but certainly not in Foxboro.
Tom Brady is set to enter his 19th season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback. The soon-to-be-42-year-old QB is primed for yet another strong campaign and will be looking to win back-to-back Super Bowls for the second time in his legendary career.
But if the worst-case scenario strikes and Brady suddenly is unavailable, would New England still be able to legitimately compete for a Lombardi Trophy in 2019? NFL.com writer Ali Bhanpuri isn’t so sure.
In a column published Tuesday, Bhanpuri ran down each AFC East team’s all-time premier franchise quarterback, longest signal-caller drought and biggest QB misstep. For the Patriots, Bhanpuri fears one potential shortcoming.
“The Pats are one freak Brady accident away from starting Brian Hoyer (1-10 in his last 11 starts) in 2019,” Bhanpuri writes. “Hoyer, who’s in the final year of a three-year deal, is probably a great locker room guy and a solid second set of eyes for Brady. And the Pats have had recent success with unheralded backups stepping up big in relief (see Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett), but Hoyer is simply too close to real game action for a team with such lofty expectations. They did just draft Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round, so maybe he can develop into a nice option to succeed (or fill in for) Brady down the road.
The decision to draft Eason over Dan Marino in 1983 certainly hasn’t aged well, but I have to think Patriots fans are more concerned about sustaining the team’s unprecedented level of success in an injured- or post-GOAT world, than worrying about what might’ve been.”
Brady’s importance to the Patriots goes without saying, but there’s reason to believe New England would be able to hang tough in his absence. The reigning Super Bowl champions feature a loaded backfield, which only grew stronger via 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris. Should Brady ever be sidelined, the Patriots very well could find success being a true ground-and-pound football team.
But this, of course, is just hypothetical, and it’s one possibility New England fans certainly would rather not think about. Life without Brady is a scary thought for Patriots diehards, but luckily for them, it’s become impossible to guess when that time will come.