Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

The Real Tom Brady remains missing in action

Posted by Bill Koch on March 17, 2010

Tom Brady

When last we saw the New England Patriots, they were getting their asses handed to them, 33-14, by the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC playoffs at Gillette Stadium. New England’s players looked like Pop Warner peewees who wandered into the wrong stadium. Baltimore blew the Patriots off their home field, and New England’s players realized in the aftermath that things needed to change in order for the most successful franchise of the 2000s to get back to winning Super Bowls.

Chief among those players was quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots’ two-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time champion, who didn’t mince words when it came to his or his team’s performance on that dreadful afternoon. Brady laid down the gauntlet for the 2010 season in his postgame remarks, including himself in his criticism of New England’s performance.

“There’s certainly a lot of things I need to do better as a player, as a leader, as a quarterback, as a mentor,” Brady said. “Hopefully I can provide insight to those players in a leadership role.”

Keep those words in mind and fast-forward to Monday, the first official day of Patriots’ offseason workouts back in Foxboro. Jerod Mayo showed up ready to take charge heading into his third season, finally healthy after a knee problem that dogged him from the opening week of last year. Mayo wasn’t shy about addressing New England’s leadership problems.

“It was a void, as far as having that vocal guy on this team in general,” he said. “I think this year is a year where guys can step up and say what they have to say. It’s a young team as a whole and young guys will listen.”

Mayo, Sebastian Vollmer, Darius Butler and a host of other young players were among the large group of Patriots who reported to Foxboro on Monday ready to participate. They’re looking for a fresh start after a disappointing 10-6 regular season. They’re looking to get New England back into its place among the NFL’s elite teams. They’re also looking for someone to lead them there. They’re the group who Brady was targeting when he promised to “provide insight to those players in a leadership role.”

And here was Brady’s first clear message to those players on Monday – he didn’t show up. He’s God knows where doing God knows what with God knows who, continuing to piss on the legacy of success that he built during the first half of his career with the Patriots. He doesn’t consider this team a priority anymore.

Is this the guy who New England’s players are supposed to follow into battle every Sunday?

Mayo, Vollmer, Butler and the rest of New England’s players are practically begging for someone to step up and take charge, and Brady continues to be disgracefully unwilling to do so. The rest of the Patriots need the guy who attended all 60 offseason workout sessions after his rookie season in 2000, the guy who earned that parking spot closest to the Gillette Stadium players’ entrance for being the team’s hardest worker, the guy who willed himself into being one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks thanks to a little bit of talent and buckets of sweat in the weight room. That guy doesn’t exist anymore. In his place is an absolute fraud who dresses better and plays worse, who works less and expects more, who promises much and delivers none. In his place is a guy who will lead the Patriots to more losses like the one they suffered in January instead of the past glory that they used to enjoy with him under center. The road to the Super Bowl has already started, and Brady won’t even get in his car.

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One Response to “The Real Tom Brady remains missing in action”

  1. […] we’ve ripped Brady before at Ramble On. We’ve questioned his commitment to football and to his team, and we’re not ready to back off those sentiments. Still, considering the […]

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