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Brady-Cassel early starts comparison

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by spacecrime, Sep 17, 2008.

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  1. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    With the caveat that it is impossible to absolutely compare the two, that the teams around them are not the same and that when they started their first games Brady was more talented than Cassel but Cassel was more NFL-ready by dint of three plus years in the system, consider this:

    Cassel's numbers for last week are close to what Brady's were for his first start. Some of this obviously is a coincidence, but the general tone of shorter passes, lots of runs, and lots of screen passes was likey BB's plan for Cassel's first game as it was for Brady's first game.

    So, what can we look for in the next few games if BB runs true:

    In Brady's second start, he was held back again. Also, he sucked. He had 69 net yards passing. 12 for 24, 4 sacks for -17 yards. He scrambled for 9 yards, and Antowain and other RBs combined for 71 more yards. They lost 30-10 in a game that wasn't nearly that close. This is the game where BB buried the game ball and did not review the game tapes.

    In Brady's third start, he aired it out against San Diego. 33 of 54, 364 yards, 2 TDs, no INTs. Pats won a wild one 29-26.

    In Brady's fourth start, Brady was held back again. 16 of 20 for 202 tards, 3 TDs. Pats beat the Colts 38-17.

    In Brady's fifth start, it was back to first start-type numbers but this time he lost to Denver 31-20. He was 25 of 38 for 202 yards, with 2 TDs and 4 INTs.

    From this point Brady seemed to have hit this stride and had around 28-30 pass attempts per game except:

    15 of 21 for 104 yards, Bills
    19 of 35 for 237 yards, 2nd Bills game
    11 of 19 for 108 in a win agaisnt the Dolphins


    Conclusions: Brady aired it out only one game in 2001, against San Diego. He had three games where he threw around 20 times (not counting his first start with 23 attempts).

    Of course, Cassel has better receivers, but I would not be looking to see Cassel let loose for the immediate future.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I have to caution against such comparisons as I did in a thread yesterday, I'll basically repost what I said then.

    For starters, Brady did not have near the weapons as Cassel does. Cassel has - in Moss - one of the best offensive players of all time, a game changer who affects the entire defensive game plan for the opposing team.

    And perhaps more importantly, passing rules have changed since then in favor of the offense, and the game in general has moved more towards a passing league, even since just 2001. Brady's numbers in 2001 - while seemingly paltry compared to the Brady we know now - were good enough relative to his peers to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl.

    By comparison, if Cassel put up the same numbers Brady did in 01, it would not come close to earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl in this 2008 season.

    I think what people are forgetting was that yes, Tom Brady was special, even in 2001, and no, he was never a system QB. We cannot expect Matt Cassel to duplicate the feats of Tom Brady, nor will we need him to.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  3. swheeler23

    swheeler23 Rookie

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    Cassel has an allstar team around him. Brady took over a team that won all of 5 games the prior year.They will open the play up alittle more. Atleast throw to Moss a few more times a game.
  4. ClevTrev

    ClevTrev Rookie

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    I posted a comparison of Brady's first start with Cassel's first start. Yes, we need to be careful with comparisons, as we've come to realize, the Pats game plan varies dramatically from game to game based on their opponent.

    While it's nice to point out that the personnel is different in 2008 than it was in 2001, it's really what the coaching staff feels will work in a particular game. The Jets were protecting against the long ball with a vengeance. The Pats complied and played the short game.

    They did this in 2001, and they'll do it in 2008. What will really give us information is when Cassel gets into a game that calls for airing it out. That's likely to happen at some point soon.
  5. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    You are totally missing the point of the post. Go back and read it. There is no claim as to how good Cassel will be. It is looking at how BB used Brady in circumstances similar to today. There is nothing wrong with looking at how BB handled a QB in similar circumstances.

    In the original post, I included the caveats you mention. It is still interesting to see how BB did NOT let Brady air the ball out, as people are calling for him to do with Cassel. If he did not let Brady go wild, will he do the same for Cassel? As I said, Brady was a better QB, but Cassel is more NFL-ready.

    I do disagree, though, with your Pro Bowl analysis.

    First, Brady's perform was NOT "good enough relative to his peers to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl" as you state. Brady was NOT voted into the Pro Bowl in 2001. He was added by Cowher after the SUperbowl.

    Second, if Cassel repeats what Brady did (wins the Superbowl) he will likely be added to the ProBowl roster as well.

    Also, the system QB thing is ludicrous. Every timne someone has an opinion that any QB isn't as good as everyone else says the QB is, he calls the guy a "system QB."

    Every QB plays in a system.

    To say that Tom Brady was special in 2001 is revisionist history. If you were a fan back then, try to remember how those 11 regular season games were won. It wasn't with QB play. It was defense and special teams.

    When Brady came in in 2001, he was good, not great. His special talents grew and became visible as the year went on. You could not tell in the early 2001 games that he was going to be as great as he was. Even at the end, in the playoffs, no one had a clue that he would become what he is today. He was cool in the pocket and you could see by the playoffs that he was a cut above, but the 2001-2002 Brady was not the 2003-2007 Brady.

    Matt Cassel is not Tom Brady, but what does that mean? That we cannot win the superbowl? That we are doomed to 10-6?

    No one is saying Cassel is Brady, only that the guy played two good games and no one has a clue as to how good or bad he will be by December.

    Don't give up on him and the Pats by saying he cannot duplicate what Brady did. Cassel can lead us to the superbowl, and the chances of him doing that are greater than anyone thought the chances of Brady doing it after week 2 of 2001. NO ONE had a thought of superbowl in the weeks after Bledsoe went down. THere was zero talk about it. Today, this year, there is the distinct possibility.

    Don't sell Cassel's 2008 Patriots short.
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    As I said in my post, I have been saying since Brady went down that my expectations for this team have not changed - they can still win the Super Bowl.

    Again, as I said in my post, I do not buy the "system QB" thing either, in fact, I explicitly rejected the notion that Brady was a "system QB". Yet, I feel as though you seemingly contradict yourself - was Brady special in 01? Or was it just defense and special teams? On the one hand, you reject the notion that it was the team surrounding him that led to his success and on the other, you accept it. Did the 5-11 team from the preceding year and the 0-2 team from 01 suddenly have its defense and special teams improve when Brady replaced Bledsoe? Would the 01 team have won the SB if Bledsoe continued as QB? God, no. It would've been a mediocre team at best. The variable is Tom Brady, and yes, he was special in 01 and was a big reason for the team's success.

    I merely think that any comparisons of any kind at this point between Cassel and Brady is a disservice to Brady. Talk to me in a couple months. For now, let's just hope Cassel continues to do his job, b/c if he does, this defense - along w the offensive weapons - is good enough to carry the team to the SB.

    As for comparing what Brady and Cassel in their first years are allowed to do by BB re: airing it out - I find the subject irrelevant personally. I respect your right to have such conjecture, but the offense is so evolved, and the offensive weapons are so different, that I feel the comparison is not worth having. Just my .02.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  7. khayos

    khayos Rookie

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