FOXBORO, MA — Don’t be surprised if Tom Brady doesn’t make the Pro Bowl when the season is over.
Think about it. Guys like Lawyer Milloy missed it in 2000 after a solid season left him out of the picture due to his team’s 5-11 record. Milloy had been a player that many felt deserved to be on the team, but he found himself overlooked most likely because of where his team finished. The same was also said about center Damien Woody (although the shotgun snap problem I’m sure didn’t help him).
The real injustice however, may occur after this season, and that will be if wide receiver Troy Brown gets left out of the mix. Brown is currently fourth in the league in receptions with 85, and ninth in the league in receiving yards with 1033, trailing Minnesota headcase Randy Moss by only three yards. He’s also on pace to break teammate Terry Glenn’s club record for receptions by a receiver (90 in 1996) and Ben Coates’ club record for receptions (96 in 1994).
However as well as Brady has done, it’s hard to imagine putting him in the category of having a “Pro Bowl” season, especially considering his 107-yard performance a few weeks ago against Buffalo and his 86-yard showing on the road against Miami.
Not to mention the fact that Brady has thrown for over 300-yards only once this season. He’s currently ranked 20th in passing yards, and is averaging 191.7 yards passing per game (23rd in the league).
Now many would argue that yards passing doesn’t necessarily equal a winning record (something that is always mentioned when the name Drew Bledsoe is used, but we’re not talking about that right now). Well, that’s not necessarily true. Taking a look at the top 15-quarterbacks in the league in yards passing (Brady isn’t even in this list), 9 of those 15 quarterbacks have winning records with a combined record of 75-34, and the six that don’t are 22-39.
Not to take anything away from what Brady has done because all things considered, fans do have to keep in mind that he’s a second-year quarterback who is almost like a rookie in that it’s his first season as a starting quarterback. That alone should grade him on a curve in terms of being a great story who has come in and done a job that few could have expected.
But to pencil him in as a Pro Bowler when it appears that guys like Troy Brown, Lawyer Milloy, Roman Phifer, Bobby Hamilton, Terrell Buckley, and Damien Woody just to name a few could end up potentially getting overlooked, that would do a huge injustice to the guys who really deserve to be there. Brady has played well this season no question, but he has gotten quite a bit of help from guys who have played above and beyond their potential and have helped carried the team to where they are right now.
Now on the other hand MVP may be another story. But that’s a subject for another day.
Many may feel it comes down to wins and losses, and that may be true. But when the voting is done for who is the best player, hopefully those who make the final decision take a good long look at the people who helped Brady get the team to where it is. Unfortunately for the Patriots’ young quarterback they will be the ones who deserve to get the free trip to Hawaii.
He has simply been a valuable piece of a puzzle that has helped surprise everyone who thought they would flounder before the season even started. That alone is something he can be proud of.
Although a playoff appearance, and maybe a Superbowl appearance wouldn’t hurt either.
Posted Under: 2001 Patriots Season