The bigger question is will he have to? Tom Brady has gone on the offensive and will fight a four game suspension. And he should. While I believe you would have to be a fool not to think Tom Brady knew something was going on, there’s very little real proof that he did. There’s also a boatload of scientists now lining up to dispute the science end of gas expansion and contraction and ambient temperature and the methodology used in checking the air pressure in footballs. It’s a circus.
So, if the unthinkable happens and Brady is out, can Jimmy Garoppolo handle the job? We believe so and anyone who has Patriots tickets, or NFL tickets to see the Patriots play their team in the first part of the 2015 NFL season (Hello Steelers travelers, Bills ticket holders, Jaguars travelers, and Cowboys ticket holders) should be mildly surprised that the New England Patriots will still be a formidable team without Brady at the helm. If that even happens.
Garoppolo must have something for Bill Belichick to keep him around but even more importantly, Belichick is the best in the NFL at game planning. Garoppolo won’t be asked to win this game by himself. The Hoodie Genius will put him in position to make easy throws, pound the running game, and maybe have a few tricks up his sleeve to keep the opposition off balance. Garoppolo will not be served up as a sacrifice.
Realistically, the Patriots are at home against the Steelers, a big advantage. The Buffalo Bills have a new coach and still can’t match the overall roster talent level of New England. The Jaguars? Not gonna happen. The real test will probably be on the road against the Dallas Cowboys. If New England gets through this thing at even 2-2 over the first four games they will be in good position to win the division and make the playoffs. This is not a disaster scenario by any means and it may not even happen given the lack of any indisputable evidence of Brady’s involvement. Goodell could knock down the penalty to a game or two based on the “refusal to cooperate” charge.
So take heart Patriots ticket holders. Your season is still intact.Eric Drouant