Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe responded to a question in today’s mailbag that I found to be pretty interesting. A reader asked about the situation involving Chris Simms and Tim Rattay reportedly being flown to Boston for a visit with the team following the first game of the season, which obviously saw quarterback Tom Brady go down for the season with a knee injury. Several media outlets at the time reported it, but there was little mentioned after neither ended up visting with the team. Head coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t confirm any of it and denied that they were looking at anyone else. Reiss gave a good explanation of what happened, and one that clears up a question I had also been wondering about.
“At that time of year, NFL teams usually bring in players at every position so they can keep their emergency lists fresh by updating medical information etc,” writes Reiss. “I believe the Patriots had the workout with Tim Rattay scheduled well before Tom Brady went down with the injury. Once Brady went down, I think they quickly arranged to add Chris Simms to the list.
“Then, after sleeping on it, I think Bill Belichick decided that it wasn’t worth the distraction to add Rattay or Simms — even if they’d be the No. 3 quarterback — when he knew that Cassel was the best option and gave the team the best chance to win. So he sent both Rattay and Simms home, saying the team’s situation had changed. I bet he also had Cassel’s confidence in mind, and making that decision might have boosted it.”
Makes sense, and obviously it worked out well for the team. Thanks to Mike for clearing that up.