Mike Vrabel doesn’t believe Tom Brady is declining.
The current Tennessee Titans head coach and former teammate of Brady dismissed the notion that Brady is having a down year. Vrabel, who played with Brady for eight seasons from 2001 until 2008, defended his former quarterback during a recent conference call leading into the Titans’ Wild Card Playoff game against the Patriots this weekend.
Via Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire:
“I still see a lot of accuracy. I still see a quick release, decisive throws,” Vrabel said. “Been able to win a lot of football games, get the ball to a lot of people to get everyone involved. He’s got an uncanny ability to find the guy that’s open, execute the game plan plays, the play action. (He’s) very, very good.”
Brady’s Statistics Were Very Mediocre in 2019
Brady has come under criticism for what appears to be declining play. The 42-year-old quarterback’s statistics have been some of the worst of his 20-year career. Brady completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and an 88.0 quarterback rating to conclude the 2019 season.
His completion percentage ranked 27th, his number of touchdowns thrown ranked just 13th, while his quarterback rating was 18th-best in the NFL. In other words, the statistics not only show a declining quarterback — they show a quarterback who is no longer even playing as if he’s in the upper half of quarterbacks in the league.
With all of that said, rival head coaches — including former teammates of Brady’s who know what he’s capable of during the postseason — still greatly respect him.
Brady Dismisses Injuries For Sluggish Play
If you were wondering whether or not Brady would blame injuries on his lackluster play, that answer is here — that would be because the veteran quarterback dismissed the idea that his elbow injury is affecting his performance in any way.
Via Zack Cox of NESN:
“(My arm) is doing good,” Brady said Monday morning on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show.” “I don’t have any problems. I have no injuries. I’ve said it a lot. I feel good. There’s no injury, no nothing. I wish I would have played better, and that’s about it.”
Brady had been listed on the injury report in numerous weeks due to his elbow injury. However, he hasn’t been listed on the Patriots’ injury report since Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I mean, it’s football,” Brady said on WEEI. “You get hit. I got hit a few times on my elbow, and that’s part of football. I’m sure basically every player in the league has ice bags after games and is feeling different things. That’s just part of the sport. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling really good.”
Brady didn’t have one of his better performances in Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins. With a first round bye on the line, the 20-year veteran threw a terrible pick-six which was returned for a touchdown by Dolphins safety Eric Rowe.
The interception ended up being costly as it proved to be the difference in the Patriots’ 27-24 loss to the Dolphins.
Brady will look to bounce back by leading New England to a victory in the Wild Card round of the playoffs — which would be their first since the 2006 season.