New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady had a rough year in 2013. There is no one doubting that.
Earlier in the week, Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus (via ESPN.com) wrote a story explaining why Brady was no longer an elite quarterback, citing his poor performance last season.
Pressure affects every quarterback. The difference between the best quarterbacks and those who just keep the seat warm for the next guy is how shallow the drop-off is between plays from a clean pocket and plays when they feel the pressure. The best quarterbacks are accurate on about 70 percent of passes under pressure (completion percentage adjusted for drops less throwaways, spikes, etc.). Manning had an accuracy rating of 69.0 percent in 2013, and at Brady’s peak in 2010 he led the league with an accuracy rating of 70.7 percent on passes under pressure. Since then, however, he has been declining steadily. Last year he was accurate on just 57.6 percent of passes under pressure, 28th in the league.
That story has created quite the buzz.
Patriots’ guard Logan Mankins was asked if Brady was still elite on Thursday. After Mankins finished questioning why someone would ask him a question like that and had the situation explained to him, he gave his response.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and some people are just wrong a lot of times, but in my eyes Tom Brady is elite. He’s still got it,” said Mankins, a six-time Pro Bowler via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston. “He has a great arm still. He’s smarter than probably 99 percent of the quarterbacks. He’s the same old guy. He’s here, working hard, he has a command of the system, and we truly appreciate blocking for him.
“He’s dedicated,” Mankins continued. “His body, he takes good care of it and he’s got all these wizards, or whatever you call them, taking care of him. He still has the love of the game and I think that’s what motivates him to stay in top condition and to keep pushing himself.”
Brady completed 380 of 628 passes for 4,343 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season.