TB12 to TB… So, why all the glowing comments about the signing?

(Also published on kpwee.com)

Tom Brady made it official earlier this week that he was leaving New England to test free agency. Within hours, news circulated that the six-time Super Bowl champ was going to sign with Tampa Bay.

Virtually all of the commentary on “TB12 to TB” was positive.

But I just don’t understand why.

Okay, Bucs’ attendance will see an increase, which is a positive thing for the franchise.

But remember last year when there was all this talk about how nobody at Brady’s age had started all 16 games in a season at the quarterback position?

Guess what? As much as I admire Brady, he’s another year older, and again, this is uncharted territory for QBs in the NFL. Yes, Brady is the greatest of all-time, but Father Time is undefeated.

Also, Brady’s going from a team that has relatively weaker competition in the AFC East, to a team that gets to play Drew Brees’ Saints twice, Matt Ryan’s Falcons twice. And don’t dismiss a rejuvenated Teddy Bridgewater (who was 5-0 filling in for the injured Brees in New Orleans in 2019) and his Panthers, as Brady will have to face them twice as well.

The wins aren’t going to come as easily as with New England, regardless of the talent around Brady in Tampa Bay. Don’t forget, nobody has played a full schedule at QB at his age (he’ll turn 43 before the 2020 season starts), the competition is stiffer, and it might not be as smooth a year as many now seem to think.

The sad-sack Yotes…?

To be honest, when I came across this ESPN.com story back in mid-December…

… my reaction was, “Hey, we’re talking about the hapless Coyotes here… The Coyotes!!! A team that has never, ever gotten over the hump,” and even Wayne Gretzky (as head coach) couldn’t transform that team into a contender.

Here, we had analysts overreacting to the fact that they were doing well back in December, and there were people thinking the Coyotes — the Coyotes!! — were going to finish second in the division and perhaps even crack the 100-point barrier.

Admittedly, it’s “easier” now to reach 100 points given the fact that teams receive cheap points for overtime losses and shootout losses, so point totals tend to be inflated in this era.

But c’mon, the Coyotes? And, of course, as the calendar flips to February 2020, the Yotes, unsurprisingly – to me, anyway – are an eighth seed in the Western Conference, losers of five straight and eight of their past 10.

The good news for them? With 59 points, they’re only two points back of Vegas, while Vancouver (64 points) and Edmonton (62) occupy the top two spots in the Pacific Division.

But finishing second and with 100 points? Yes, there are still plenty of games left – but not really – but c’mon, these are the Coyotes we’re talking about….

Does anyone proofread anymore?

Veteran sportswriter Bob Nightengale was, unfortunately, ridiculed on Twitter this week after hash tagging “Cuns” – and not “Cubs” – on one of this tweets.

Look, tweeting is something that is done quickly and maybe even the best makes a typo sometimes. It’s just silly to have so many people tweet back at Nightengale to mock him.

What’s worse than goofing up on a tweet, though, is giving wrong information on a story posted on a website that draws a lot of clicks – and not have anyone proofread that story.

Here are some examples from ESPN.com:

This one starts off well. It’s ESPN giving the up-to-date playoff schedule.

But since when does a best-of-five series have a Game Three as potentially unnecessary?

Wow, so ESPN is saying that a team could win the first two games of the division series and the series is over!

And yes, Tom Brady is, undoubtedly, a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But you need to have retired first to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Yet, ESPN has already crowned the 42-year-old QB as a HOFer… while he’s still playing for the Patriots!

Yes, some love for Brady – and that’s great. But not so much for the Patriots, who’ve been to the last three Super Bowls (not two). Here’s an ESPN.com preview of the 2019 Week One Steelers-Patriots contest (with New England coming off its third consecutive NFL title game), via the Associated Press:

So, I get it that even a sportswriter might goof up on Twitter – and people should be ashamed of themselves to mock him or call him out on social media – but a site like ESPN.com messing up things that should have been proofread? Awful.

What we’ve learned through the Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, NFL games…

The Patriots are my AFC team. The New Orleans Saints are my NFC team. Tom Brady is awesome. Drew Brees is awesome. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I admire those guys because not only are they great NFL quarterbacks, but their stories are also inspirational.

So, when I criticize, say, the Saints, it’s not because I’m against them. I want them to do well. I want them to win.

But these ‘slow’ starts are what have been costing them every year since their Super Bowl victory after the 2009 season.

The Saints said all the right things heading into their contest on Sunday, about how important Week 2’s game against the L.A. Rams was.

And they went out and got blown out.

I get it. Brees had to leave the game after his thumb was injured by the Rams’ Aaron Donald. But that’s why they have the NFL’s highest-paid backup quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has been a starter in the NFL before. He should have been ready.

Yes, the Rams are a tough team. But look – there have been all kinds of backups that came up big over the course of NFL history. And we’ve been reminded so far this season that it’s the NFL’s 100th season and we’ve seen stories and highlights of those spectacular plays over the first 99 years of the league.

Well, I can say that even against potent teams, backups have come through so many times in NFL history. Frank Reich against a tough Houston team in the playoffs. Jeff Hostetler against the 49ers in the 1990 NFC title game and the Bills in the Super Bowl. Brady when he was a backup in his second NFL season. Doug Flutie in Buffalo.

So, I don’t think Brees being injured and knocked out should be an excuse when the Saints have a capable backup in Bridgewater.

The point is, these early-season losses – and I count a 1-1 start as a ‘slow’ start for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations – have cost the Saints before. Look at 2011, when the Saints had arguably a better team than the 2009 Super Bowl-winning squad.  They finished 13-3, but costly losses in the first half of their schedule (including defeats to lowly Tampa Bay and St. Louis) cost them. They lost tie-breakers with the 49ers and ended up being the No. 3 seed while Green Bay (15-1) and San Francisco (13-3) were Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. That cost them in the divisional round when they went on the road to San Fran and lost to Alex Smith.

So, as much as I hate to say it, I wonder if this inability to stop the Rams in Week 2 will come back to haunt New Orleans?

And the Chicago Bears lucked out. I thought they’d lost to Denver, but their kicker, Eddy Pineiro drilled a 53-yard FG as time expired to give them a 16-14 win. He made two 50-plus yard field goals in the game.

Pineiro did his job, but could you imagine if the Bears, considered an NFC contender, had lost to fall to 0-2? Matt Nagy, their head coach, did a great job last year, but his arrogance, especially with his kickers the way he handled them during training camp, can come back and bite him in the ass.

Both he and Adam Gase in New York seem to have this arrogance about them, but hey, they haven’t won anything as NFL head coaches, so I would say they can’t be acting like Bill Belichick, who is the greatest coach in league history. Belichick can be acting that way; he’s a proven coach who’s won multiple titles. Guys like Nagy, who’s had just one great regular season, and Gase shouldn’t be.

Speaking of new coaches, it’s only Week 2, and Green Bay signal caller Aaron Rodgers is already feuding with new head coach Matt LaFleur. The animated exchange between the two happened near the end of the first half, and although the Packers hung on against Minnesota to improve to 2-0 and both men downplayed the argument, it should be interesting to see how that relationship works out.

And speaking of Belichick, can the Patriots go 19-0 this season? Their defense has allowed just three points total in two games! And for anyone who says the Patriots have different game plans every week depending on the opponent and won’t have Antonio Brown as the featured player, which will upset AB… go back and check Brown’s stats.

There were weeks that he wasn’t targeted as much and he didn’t have 100 receiving yards in every single game with the Steelers – and he lasted nine seasons.

So… focusing strictly on the on-field stuff and not the off-the-field drama, ie. the civil suit brought on by his ex-trainer last week (which, obviously, I won’t comment on as I do not have the facts of that situation), can Brown last one season in New England? If he wants to win a Super Bowl, then I would say yes.

And, the greatest comeback against those naysayers would be for him to last the entire season, help the Patriots go 19-0, and laugh at all those people who’ve doubted him.