I can remember back in 2001 when quite a few of the Pats fans were crying "Oh woe is us" when Drew Bledsoe went out due to the freak injury he suffered. Many people were saying that Brady hadn't done well in pre-season (which he hadn't) and they didn't understand why the Patriots let him finish the game and not Huard. I can remember Brady going out there and making rookie starter mistakes in the games he played. And I can remember people decrying Bill Belichick for not putting Bledsoe back in when Bledsoe was healthy. There are similarities to the current situation. The big difference is that everyone knows that Cassel is only a stop gap because he's a UFA at the end of the season. And, unlike Bledsoe, Brady is still performing at the top of his game. I see this team pulling in around Cassel and moving on and doing its best. I also see Brady, returning to the team when healthy (be it this year or next) and continuing on as the starer. Cassel will make or break his football career in the coming weeks and months. If he goes out there and plays well, then there is the possiblity that another team would want to sign him. If he goes out there and is mediocre, he'll cement a solid career as an effective back-up (ala Damon Huard and Kelly Holcomb). If he goes out there and stinks it up, then he'll be done, the Pats will move on and so will we.