While Waiting on Brady...

Mike Petraglia
August 17, 2008 - 9:39 am

Nothing like opening this blog with the biggest potential problem to hit the Patriots since their remarkable run began in 2001. Tom Brady didn't make the trip to Tampa Bay for the team's second exhibition game, reportedly because of an ankle problem. It's not yet clear which ankle or if this has anything remotely to do with his right ankle/foot problem that put him in a walking boot prior to the Super Bowl loss against the Giants. Brady said Monday on Patriots Monday on WEEI with Mike Felger and Scott Zolak that it was his right foot that was bothering him and that this should NOT set off any alarms, adding that he will get treatment this week and he's not sure if he will play this Friday against Philadelphia, usually the most important preseason game for regulars. While the concern level certainly is NOT there yet, it does give everyone pause in Foxboro because A) Brady has yet to take a snap and B) the backups in camp have a combined 22 completions on 39 attempts, all belonging to Matt Cassel. This is make or break for Cassel, who comes into the season with 71.8 career rating and a 32.7 rating from last season. Throw in the fact that Matt Gutierrez and rookie Kevin O'Connell have yet to take a snap in an NFL regular season game and you're not exactly talking about security at the signal-caller position. NO ONE should be getting quite nervous yet because all it takes for Brady to get ready for Sept. 7 against Kansas City is a couple of series behind center in the preseason and the ability to stand upright. Brady has been kept out of several practices this camp and while most observers have pointed out that it was to save the burden on his shoulder and keep him fresh, the latest news sheds new light and perspective. Meanwhile, making all of these observations from the third row of the Fenway Park press box as the Blue Jays lay a football-like 14-3 (make that 15-3) pounding on the Red Sox don't mean much until the Patriots confirm or deny any problems with No. 12. And we may not have that answer until Sept. 7.

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