Is it possible the New England Patriots will be better on offense this season, despite no longer having Tom Brady at quarterback?
It seems crazy, but the team reportedly is optimistic it has the tools necessary to improve upon last season’s underwhelming performance.
During Wednesday’s “Felger & Mazz” episode on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Tony Massarotti asked Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard whether the Patriots’ offense could function better this season with Brady’s occasionally moody attitude removed from the equation.
(That’s not to say Jarrett Stidham is a better quarterback than Brady; rather, the impatient, easily agitated Brady no longer is the best fit for a young, retooling offense.)
“It’s possible,” Bedard said. “I don’t know if I would draw a direct line to Brady’s attitude, even though that was a factor. And I know some people around the team thought that was somewhat of a detriment to the team down the stretch — not a huge factor, but was it a factor? Yeah, but I think that the team feels better about themselves offensively going into this year — slightly.
“Maybe they don’t have the ceiling they had with Brady, but as far as consistent play. Just from the fact that, let’s say David Andrews plays a full season and Joe Thuney’s here, that’s a much better offensive line. There’s a feeling that Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon are kind of ticked off about what they put on film last year and want to be a lot better. That line has a chance to be the best in the league if it’s intact and healthy. You get (Julian) Edelman healthy, you get (Mohamed) Sanu healthy — he wasn’t toward the end of the season. You get better play at tight end in (third-round pick Devin) Asiasi, and maybe Dalton Keene can do some things. You add in Damiere Byrd, who they feel really good about that they think is a huge upgrade over Phillip Dorsett. And you put all those things together, plus a new, sort of, attack plan with Jarrett Stidham — they feel good about how they can be efficient offensively.”
— 98.5 The Sports Hub (@985TheSportsHub) May 13, 2020
Obviously, Bedard’s assessment was a mix of actual reporting and his own speculation.
Nevertheless, if Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are confident in the team’s ability to put points on the board, then Patriots fans at least have some reason to believe the 2020 season won’t be a total disaster.