Tom Brady is growing more frustrated with his receivers as the 2019 season hits its final month. At the start of the year, the New England Patriots had Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, and quickly brought in Antonio Brown to help bolster one of the strongest receiving corps in the league.
There was even early talk about how the Patriots could have one of the top receiving units the NFL has ever seen. Now, 14 weeks into the regular season and the Patriots are turning into one of the league’s worst receiving teams. All three of those star receivers are gone, Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett have stepped up as primary targets and Brady is struggling to get on the same page as his receivers.
And it’s partially Tom Brady’s fault. For the second year in a row, Brady skipped out on OTAs for the second straight season in the spring, opting to spend more time with his family. With 20 professional seasons to his credit and six Super Bowls, you can’t fault Brady, who isn’t getting any younger, for wanting to spend more time with his family.
But his absence from OTA’s is causing a ripple effect late in the season, according to WEEI. Younger receivers, especially N’Keal Harry who was injured for much of the preseason, could have benefited from extra time with Brady in the offseason.
The Patriots got off to a slow start last year offensively as well, also perhaps a product of Brady missing OTAs with a group of new receivers entering the mix, before figuring things out enough to win another Super Bowl.
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Has Brady Fallen off “The Cliff”?
Trent Dilfer may finally be right. When the pundit insisted Brady had fallen off the cliff in 2014, the New England Patriots‘ quarterback went onto win three more Super Bowls in four appearances as well as an MVP award as a 40-year-old.
Over five years later, that cliff game may have finally happened. In New England’s loss to the Houston Texans, Tom Brady looked like a shell of his former self. Sure, his protection was shoddy and his receivers struggled to create separation, but Brady just isn’t himself.
There haven’t been any passes into tight windows like he used to, and he has gone three games without a touchdown pass. Since the bye week, Brady’s numbers have dipped dramatically and it’s also affecting the offense.
Brady has always been a big-game performer, and come the playoffs this could all very well fix itself. However, there’s a reason New England went to a run-heavy set last season towards the end, and part of it was due to Brady’s rising ineffectiveness.
With New England struggling to move the ball on the ground this season, the weaknesses Brady have developed have become more evident. Play-calling could very well be the overlying issue, but there’s no doubting Brady has taken a step back at points this year.