Coming Up
  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 12:00 AM - 10:40 AM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to replays of the best shows of the week on Patriots.com radio.
  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 10:40 AM - 12:45 PM EDT Live Patriots Pre-Game Social

    Join us for the Dunkin' Donuts Patriots Pre-Game Social 2-hours before each New England Patriots game as host Marc Bertrand and PFW's Andy Hart and Paul Perillo preview all the matchups and get the fans take heading into the game.  Have your questions answered on the air by emailing webradio@patriots.com or call (508) 298-0398.

  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM EDT Live X-Box One Postgame Show

    Join host Marc Bertrand, PFW's Andy Hart and Paul Perillo as they break down the Patriots-Bears game and take your calls. You'll hear live press conferences from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, exclusive player interviews and more on the X-Box One Patriots Postgame Show.

  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 4:01 PM - 5:00 PM EDT Live Postgame Pressers Watch Patriots Postgame Press Conferences from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady LIVE following each Patriots game.
  • Mon., Oct. 27, 2014 12:00 AM - 9:00 AM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to replays of the best Patriots.com radio shows from the past week.
  • Mon., Oct. 27, 2014 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM EDT Live Patriots Monday Tune in all day for PATRIOTS MONDAY. Hear from Head Coach Bill Belichick, Quarterback Tom Brady and more of your favorite players every Monday during the season. Join Sportsradio 93.7 WEEI's Dennis and Callahan at 8am, Merloni, Fauria and Benz from 10-2 and Dale and Holley until 6pm as they review and preview all the Patriots action all season long. Replay from 6 - 12pm.
  • Mon., Oct. 27, 2014 6:00 PM - 11:59 PM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to replays of the best Patriots.com radio shows from the past week.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to replays of the best Patriots.com radio shows of the week
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 11:55 AM - 2:00 PM EDT Live PFW in Progress Have lunch with Editor in Chief Fred Kirsch along with editor Paul Perillo, assistant editor Andy Hart and staff writer Erik Scalavino as they take you behind the pages of PFW on their online radio show exclusively on Patriots.com. Send in your questions and comments to webradio@patriots.com or call (508) 298-0398.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Live Patriots Playbook Need your afternoon fix of Patriots information direct from the source? Listen to Patriots Playbook with John Rooke and Erik Scalavino as they bring you all of the latest Patriots talk exclusively on Patriots.com. You'll hear interviews and expert commentary from Patriots HQ.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM EDT Live Fantasy Football Champs 120 minutes of non-stop Fantasy Football Strategy. Bill Enright and Anthony Grace are committed to helping you dominate your league. Tune in for expert analysis, weekly player rankings, and fantasy advice that will get you a Championship.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 6:00 PM - 12:59 AM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to replays of the best Patriots.com radio shows of the week
  • Wed., Oct. 29, 2014 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM EDT Replay Patriots Replay Listen to the "Best of the Week" of Patriots.com Radio programming.

View from Above

Print
RSS

Tom Brady & The Rookie: Preparing for the summit climb

Posted Jun 10, 2014

For Tom Brady there are still mountains to climb in the NFL, and a summit to reach at least once more as a Super Bowl champion.

Tom Brady isn't yet ready for a retirement home - far from it. There are still mountains to climb in the NFL, and a summit to reach at least once more as a Super Bowl champion.

But as is so often the case in sports and in life, the preparation for such a climb usually focuses solely on the ascension of that mountain. And that's fine, except for this small detail - most failures, and many disasters often occur on the way down the mountain. It's because the trip to the top is often viewed as the end of a road…and not merely the halfway point.

As an organization, the Patriots have clearly demonstrated the need for complete preparation in their current journey back to the top of the NFL by drafting - and now signing - quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It's something I've recently advocated during our in-season programming on Patriots.com Radio as well, to the point where all of a sudden - to some, I'm a Brady-hater. Hardly. It's true Brady turns 37 years old before the next regular season kicks-off, and it's also true he's not the same QB he was three or four (or seven?) seasons ago. Pro Football Focus has recently gone so far as to suggest TB12 is no longer a Top 5 QB in the NFL. His completion numbers, while under pressure, have declined steadily since 2010.

Were there extenuating circumstances leading to some of these fading statistical factoids? Yes - multiple personnel changes at receiver, tight end and in the offensive line certainly could have had an effect on his numbers, and those of the Patriots as a team. He's not gunslinging with the same weapons he once had. Doing what his coaches ask of him, or relying on his own solid instincts - taking a sack or throwing a pass away, for instance - rather than forcing a pass into coverage with a possible interception waiting to happen also plays a part in TB12's "decline."

So is he still one of the best in the game? Does it really matter? No one has found the Fountain of Youth, and as age and time march on, the mental and physical wear and tear begins its inexorable, persistent push on players' capabilities. It's happened to all of the greats in this game. But surrounded by the right players, given the right offensive weapons, equipped with the proper game plans…is there any doubt TB12 can't still get the job done today? Tomorrow?

Of course not. He's 18-8 in the post-season, won three rings and has won 77% of his starts in the regular season. He's earned the benefit of the doubt. Those numbers don't lie and even the eye-test says he's still among the very best in the game. But here's another one for you - those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Benjamin Franklin once said this - and the Patriots are taking it to heart by drafting and signing Garoppolo. Whereas the team once drafted and signed Ryan Mallett with perhaps similar intent, TB12 has shown his shelf-life has a few years remaining before his talents spoil.

So, perhaps the timing was off for Mallett in New England? Enter the new QB with the quick release, a strong arm and perhaps the athletic skill required for success under center (or in the spread formation) in the present-day NFL. Draft analyst Mike Mayock has gone so far as to say "he (Garoppolo) makes every throw. The feet and quick release are what stand out."

Enter the new TB12, for a new Patriots' team hoping to continue a tradition of winning. Someday.

It's called preparation. It's called keeping an eye toward the future. It's called roster management. It's called whatever you want to call it. But most of all, it's called smart. TB12 isn't ready for his rocker just yet…but when there are still mountains to climb, best to have the trip down from the summit planned and calculated. Famous climber Ed Viesturs, the only American to have climbed all 14 of the world's 8000 meter peaks (26,247+ feet) once said, "Getting to the summit is optional; getting down is mandatory."

Free-falls can be disastrous.

John Rooke is an author and award-winning broadcaster, and has been the Patriots' stadium voice for 22 years. Currently serving in several media capacities - which include hosting "Patriots Playbook" during the season on Patriots.com Radio for 13 years, and broadcasting college football and basketball for the past 26 years, Rooke is also a member of the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.

Follow him on Twitter - @JRbroadcaster

DISCLAIMER


The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on the View from Above column represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the New England Patriots organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Patriots officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Most Popular Media