Over the last five or six years, the New England Patriots forte has been their ability to move the ball through the air on offense. From the 2007 record breaking season, to the 2010 ‘Rise of the TE’s’ season, the Patriots have dominated in this department. However with everything that is happening in this crazy offseason, we must wonder how the Pats offense will look come opening day. We don’t know how all of this Aaron Hernandez business is going to come out, but more likely than not, he will not be playing football this season. Then of course we have the Gronkowski issue, as he is still recovering from some back surgery he received. That leaves the Patriots with some no name veterans, some unproven rookies, and Danny Amendola. This doesn’t exactly look that 2007 squad right now. You would think that the Patriots offense would struggle with the kinds of weapons at Tom Brady’s disposal. Brady no longer has his security blanket in Wes Welker, and as of right now he doesn’t have his two matchup nightmares with Gronk and Hernandez. But if you know the kind of football player that Tom Brady is, then you have no business saying the Patriots offense will struggle in 2013.
I could right a book on the greatness of Tom Brady. He is that kind of player, and in my opinion the second best player in NFL history behind Joe Montana. The thing that makes Brady so great, is his ability to make players better. The example I always use is not any of the Super Bowl years, nope I always refer to the 2006 season. The Patriots hardly had any talent on the offensive side of the ball, and Brady still managed to get his team to the AFC Championship game, and nearly to the Super Bowl. Now, I know that the Patriots receiving core looks pretty awful right now, but let us remember the kind of guys that Brady had back in 2006. The top three receivers on that team were Reche Caldwell, Ben Watson, and Kevin Faulk. Even without Welker, Hernandez, and Gronkowski the Patriots have a lot more talent than that. Despite being a rookie, I really think that Aaron Dobson has the potential to be something great in this league, and there is no better quarterback to take him there, than Tom Brady. Then you think about Danny Amendola. Amendola is an extremely talented receiver, and from everything that I heard, he looked great in Patriots mini-camp, and had started to get a good chemistry going with Tom Brady. The problem with Amendola has been his healthy, and that really was just because he had a couple of freak accidents in the past couple of years. The Patriots also have tight end Jake Ballard, who is nearly recovered from his knee injury he suffered in 2011. If Brady got to the AFC Championship game with guys like Caldwell and Watson, what do you think he can do with Amendola, Dobson, and (hopefully) Gronkowski?
Another thing that is worth mentioning, is the fact that Brady is a much better quarterback than he was in 2006. Brady is one of the few athletes that has gotten better as he gets older, and he is significantly better now than he was in 2006. I am not just talking about the on the field talents either. His off the field leadership skills will really come in handy with all of the new faces that are now on the Patriots roster. Brady really is a maniac when it comes to working to get better. The stories that you hear about him are pretty ridiculous. They say that he works even harder now than he did when he first came into the league. That is really impressive. Brady always is wanting to get better, and that is a major reason why he is always near the top of everybody’s QB list.
The last point that I would like to make is about the Patriots running game. Stevan Ridley is a hell of a running back, and he runs behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. The Patriots finished 2012 with the seventh best rushing attack in the NFL, and I think it will be even better next year. Other than the Corey Dillon years, Brady has never had this kind of running game and you better believe that he enjoys it. Ridley will continue to improve, and I think that the Pats will lean on him even more. That should help take a lot of pressure off of Brady and the passing attack, and this makes Brady even more dangerous as a passer.
The bottom line in all of this, is the Patriots offense will be just fine. They may be lacking the talent that they have had in previous years, but they still have the one guy that nobody in the NFL can match right now, and that guy is Tom Brady. He can make a bad player become good, and a good player become great. That is probably the most important trait you want in a quarterback, and Brady does it the best. I think that Brady will take this bunch of receivers and tight ends and turn them into a top ten passing offense in 2013. I don’t think that Brady will allow his teammates to settle for anything less.