Brady has always been an outstanding leader for the offense. But until recently, the defense has always had its own leaders. Now the defense has only one excellent leader in Wilfork, and even he is probably not on the Harrison/Vrabel/McGinest level. I don't mean to completely denigrate the leadership of, say, Meriweather (Spikes' go-to guy on his video flap), Sanders, or TBC. But I don't think they're the sage, respected-by-all, articulate veterans the defense has had in years past. With a number of the ST leaders cut, and the kicker and punter young, STs are probably a bit light on leadership too. The challenge in leading the offense is probably a bit above average, with the OL in a little more flux than usual and some new/young receivers and TEs sprinkled in. For the team to be well-led by its players, Brady is going to have to be an outstanding leader for the entire team. Nobody should be the slightest bit surprised if he pulls it off with flying colors -- but it is quite a bit more than he's accomplished on that front in the past. By the way, I think in retrospect much of this was true last season as well, and Brady did NOT step up effectively. However, he has an impressive set of excuses, such as his own injury recovery and the whole marriage/fatherhood thing, and I'm very optimistic about how he'll do in his second try. Besides, I think the biggest reason he didn't step up was that he just whiffed on recognizing he needed to, and he's clearly not making that particular mistake again.