New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

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The list of Tom Brady doubters continues to grow

Nick Friar
May 02, 2019 - 11:20 am

ESPN’s Todd McShay recently decided to align himself with the illustrious Max Kellerman on the network’s show “First Take,” expressing how Tom Brady will decline in the 2019 season:

“They’re going to win the AFC East. I believe that. But for the first time ever, I watched Tom Brady towards the end of last season and started to see a little bit of a decline. That was the first time ever. You know, I’ve listened to people say — I can remember he threw five picks against the Chiefs years ago and everyone’s like, ‘It’s over.’ And that was a joke. And a few years ago, everyone’s like, ‘The run is done.’ But (Rob) Gronkowski, and I know they won games and playoff games without him, but Gronkowski was the guy for Brady. Brady has started to decline a little bit. You look at the numbers and they’re still really good and most teams would love to have it. But I see a little bit of a decline in him.”

Now, McShay is much more calculated in his reasoning than the man who made his way as a boxing “expert,” but that won’t matter to anyone. He’s just another “Brady hater” because he doubted the living legend and so on. In some ways, that’s not far off. As much as Brady will enter his age 42 season in the fall, the guy did just win another Super Bowl. The Patriots defense may have been the driving force in the final game, but the shootout with Kansas City in the AFC Title game isn’t won without Brady. Losing Gronk helps McShay’s point, but to think Bill Belichick and Brady can’t figure out how to survive without him is almost taking a shot at everything else those two have done together.

McShay will probably be towards the bottom of the list of doubters, but even something as trivial as this is a good thing for Brady. Kellerman’s routine seems more like an attempt to be cast as Champ Kind’s replacement if Adam McKay and Judd Apatow decide to give us an Anchorman 3 (please don’t). How can anyone draw motivation from his opinions?

McShay, on the other hand, is not in the business of hot takes. He’s an analyst. That’s not to say Brady should be filled with doubt because Todd McShay said he can’t perform like he has in the past — but his words do carry more weight.

Analysts like McShay doubting Brady’s ability is only a good thing for the Patriots.

What more does Brady have to prove? He’s won, a lot. He has individual accolades. He’s outlasted everyone from his 2000 draft class. What’s left for him to do? Sure he could win a few more rings, but that could be part of a bigger picture: one that’s centered on proving to everyone his inevitable fall from the cliff won’t happen. That he’ll hang around as long as he wants and continue to be one of the best in the league, only to step away just before he can’t do it anymore, thus taking away the doubters’ satisfaction of him having one or more bad seasons.