Let’s just say hypothetically the New England Patriots offense doesn’t skip a beat with Jimmy Garoppolo behind center, the team goes 4-0 and completely blows out the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills. Should the backup quarterback keep his starting job?
Of course not! Nothing short of death could keep Tom Brady off the field, and even then he would probably return from the dead.
But for some reason, head coach Bill Belichick still felt the need to tell the media Brady would be his starter in Week 5 when his suspension is over.
“Our priority now is to get Jimmy ready for the start of the season, the Arizona game,” Belichick told reporters on Wednesday. “So that will obviously be a comprehensive process. Tom [Brady] will return as the starting quarterback when he comes back, but in the meantime we can prioritize the first part of our schedule.”
Bill Belichick says "we have some clarity with Tom's situation. He'll be our starter when he returns" pic.twitter.com/zw2RHKegJ1
— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) July 27, 2016
Well, I’m glad we got that settled. I’m sure Tom was worried.
Brady has really only been replaced twice in his career, with the exception of a few blowouts.
The first occurred back in 2008 when Tom missed the entire season after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 1. Backup Matt Cassel replaced him and ended up having a strong season, leading New England to an 11-5 record and upping his value significantly. The Pats traded him later that offseason for a No. 34 pick. That selection turned into Patrick Chung, who is now one of the more efficient players in the league at the strong safety position.
Unless Brady declines tremendously at 39 years old, don’t be surprised if New England trades Jimmy G if he plays reasonably well in the first four games.
Brady has only been replaced once due to poor performance, which occurred in Week 4 of 2014 against the Chiefs. That’s when Garoppolo made his NFL debut after the Kansas City defensive line consistently got to Brady.
Belichick was asked after that game if he would reassess the quarterback position. All he offered was a grin.
Of course, the Patriots won the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
After winning 194 games together and losing just 60, it would take a cataclysmic event for Belichick to move Brady down the depth chart.