Not Sunday podcast, Ep. 14: Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson explains why Tom Brady is best QB in NFL

The Not Sunday Podcast
Wednesday, December 20th

Episode 13 of the Not Sunday podcast with Ryan Hannable features Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson, who in 2014 said Tom Brady was no longer a top-five NFL quarterback. Monson has since changed his tune and now considers Brady one of the best QBs in the entire league. Brady, Rob Gronkowski and who could potentially challenge the Patriots were all discussed.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

NFL's. Which Brian Hannibal per minute and risky. Christian forty day. It's let's get started with the man bell it's Sunday now here's Brian Hannibal. Welcome back to the knot Sunday podcast special guest this week pro football focus is Sam monsoon sand bags and joining me. Yeah. So I mean everyone around nears or members you a couple of years ago when you said that Tom Brady. What wasn't a top five quarterback what you did credit he that you did or realize and admit that takes who was wrong. What was the biggest thing that major realize that. It wasn't true. Yet at age pretty well that this. I think Clinton. That the whole article was based. And the premise of a couple of numbers that were trending in the wrong direction for Tom Brady for awhile. So he was obviously you know getting up there in age and it's play in the face of pressure had been declining for a couple of seasons and they started that year really struggling. I'm on the back of this article. You know took a look like he'd been heading and declining and that may be giving his agent. Given what was a random time I figured we may have seen the best of Tom Brady in the you know. I was actually. Very careful and I wrote the not to say was done just that he was on the decline turn that neither those things are true so it's kind of splitting hairs but. I mean really we just saw that from the moment that that infamous chief's game. There was such disaster. Relief bands back in has been. Anything getting better since that point it's it's really. Phenomenal what he's been able to do. Since that time and what's amazing is that you know the numbers that started off the whole thing that the number that was the form the premise of all it is. Complete your person. Tom Brady leads the NFL and it's raining and the pressure like ten point so. You know Brady is not only playing the best vocal career threatening improved all of the things that were trending in the wrong direction. What stands out most to you that he's making this improvement is there. One are one or two different stats that pro football bogeys uses that you see in this stark improvement. Well from the point I think it's everything. Mean I guess say that that the passer rating under pressure that was the big game and I think sparked all this stuff because at that time. They had last Dante Scarnecchia they were they were. I offensive line for the first time a long time. You know the idea was that if it is offensive line is going to be a problem long term. Brady is now playing worse under pressure he's only getting older this is going to be a long term issue we may not see him back back but. Bernanke came back widget that is the big big boost to that that that franchise overall offensive line has been dramatically improved as well. And Brady is playing better in the face pressure Salinas say this year he leading million pounds in the pressures are on a touch stands just two interceptions. When he's been under pressure completing. Almost 60% of his passes under pressure which can lead the lead so. Everything that looked like it was trending in the wrong direction for him completely. Reversed and become a strength. I one of things that I've noticed this year's I used to track his release times and they are so quick is one of the quickest release times. In the league. And this year it's been allied different worries on the ball a little bit longer. Is is part and but he still having success you'd think a lot of that has do with having branding coaxed into the numbers get skewed view because they now have a deep threat in branding coaxed just what have you seen on tape for Brady's you know being better when he's pulling the ball of the longer. Yea your right I mean Brady was always at the sharp end of the the average time for most of us humans always among the quicker quarterback entirely. Now we're seeing that's. Risen because. He is offense isn't the way it used to that's one of the most. Remarkable things about Brady is that they talk he's been several different types of offense over the years it's not like. Peyton Manning who essentially Israel in the same offense really really well for the better part of the entire career. Brady has been at the Helm of several iterations of the same offensive and completely different that you. Offenses that base you didn't have a deep threat at all they worked hard on clean nothing else. You got offenses that they were able to that folder on the mosque in the fray and suddenly you a real key weapon and that that we've. Giving it any or policy these two tight end weapons. With drug test in Aaron Hernandez for awhile. This is missing kind of the latest iteration they've they've been down Julian settlements and if I change the way to stop and look. With branding Kooks coming in. We've seen go back to more of deep passing offense so. I'm Greg typically is is among the lower past figures in the league in terms averaged at the target like. To go along with that. Quick time to throw those those two and that the much this season he's up at the other end he's got a an average get the target nine point six which is. Eleven in the league and guys. I higher average debt to target and that's a real departure could see from Brady. Last year just looking quickly balance. Awful more than yard lower down the bottom possibly. Interest and interest and easier MVP this year. Yeah I think has I think anybody that is a bunch of different names keep getting thrown out for the US arsenal win and then he went to announce talked earlier. You were talking about Antonio Brown before he went down I think we're just look looking to our defined names. That our Tom Brady mean he has been the best player in the lead at the most important position in the lead yeah that the MVP. Yeah I mean. I do think you're gonna made a case for winds and maybe even Antonio Brown if you ordered beat the patriots on Sunday and stayed healthy but it's almost like rays winning this year by default discuss all these potential candidates there are are getting hurt or their teams sisters aren't accessible like Blake Russell Wilson's or speak. I just think he's playing at such an incredible level that it doesn't make sense to even look beyond it you know he is. Our top rated quarterback completed yet that he's stopped by a distance. Yeah it is absolutely tired I'm way ahead of the pack Ben Roethlisberger. Matt Ryan Harrison Lance Russell Wilson Drew Brees all those guys they're kind of behind him in the same sort of area term degrading. And then Tom Brady is likes seven point cited the top of this field and there's no repeat in the same ballpark in. I just think. It's almost like people got bored with the idea Tom Brady being it is good though we're looking for other people or other reasons to give the MVP award somewhere else I think it is. Now I think it's clear we are tied my that are out here that some of the voters just might they are sick of voting for Tom Brady and that's like Carson once might have got just as they found a guy that that could potentially challenge him in there or he he he got that edge I'm. Last year I think pro football focused reed Brady as the best player overall in the entire league is that true. Yeah things. He was the winner our students and warned that it. It's easy trending that way this year. He's definitely one of the few guys in the conversation I think there's a couple of players that are. There in the Teixeira. Argument I think Bobby Wagner has been fantastic this season at linebacker capital. I think Aaron Donald again has been pretty phenomenal it's probably goes through maturity is much beyond those guys. Then I notice after the game. The Steelers game rob workouts he got a perfect 99.9. Rating for you guys there was a point of the fourteenth time that ever happened. What what did rob rob. Yeah it was a really interesting game because. The narrative heading in that game all the way through was the Steelers team. Really beat the patriots game because. The patriots just carve up that zone scheme that the Steelers like to run that no team in the NFL runs zone coverage Morton Steelers. And they run 65% of the time overall it is George zone itself. And our start and it's. There might 12% of the time was running man teams heading in that game whose 65% when he ran in nine games today be completely if I've faced. How they run coverage because they understand that Brady just it's buying there are so there's zone defense he's done it time and time again. It doesn't work so. For the first time that really changed there's this team they they went to a man heavy scheme you know Tony Romo was all over that terms of that in the in the Booth incumbent sitting on the game. And he was right days to around 65% man coverage compared to 12% that they normally run. And really it will work other than the fact that they didn't avenue he picked overwrought Cronkite he. So you know if you're gonna go man coverage. The war and I and that's going to be a problem is if the offense housing guy. That is the man coverage beater you know so you just cannot match up where. And at least the guy that the Steelers try to do it and say John Davis. Just couldn't cover Rockland has he well so. We saw exactly what that did every time the patriots needed a play it was a classic rock and yet he made plays whether it. You know a lot of the times it was in relatively tight coverage but the ball was in good position gronkowski was either able to. Track it over shoulder or pick it up on the laces there the other few different big play nine game. And then obviously when you get them out that that big drive near the end. It was almost all going to ask you and then the two point conversion as well because again it was one on one matchup between. Contact you and John Davis and the it's just commitment so yeah he is he was basically. Just too good for the guy trying to cover. What goes in into that rating what what are the factors as a blocking is you know maybe making plays in the clutch or what are some rather their criteria that goes into it and your rating system. Yeah I mean it is so covered really there's there's general. Receiving play a over the course of the game. How big was. How hard was it made a couple of notable. Really tough catches like that one of the places it was one. And then seem ovaries and where. I can't remember who was covered in them for probably Davis. Had a hand literally over grunt as he it is as the ball was coming in over children Stillman says. Track occurred in that sense. To those kind of extra level of difficulty plays will bomb grade. Blocking is assigned there when you get flagged calls for penalties the big factor as well so yeah everything we measure effectively fold in that game. Our focus that grade along way. To a game situation you know crunch time in the game. Exactly what kind of plays laws where how effective the distance when you made. A fifteen yard reception certainly keen of not getting it done but on first and that's. Chain moving plays everything we can think of fold and great. Let's go to the other side of the ball for the patriots others he's been an up or down year they are really struggling early on and then seemed to. Figured things out may be set up a little bit of weight the what are your metrics say about the teacher's defense we're do you have membrane to and the rest of the week. Yeah we actually never ranked them low. Their overall numbers were suggesting. Because early in the season when they're getting down by every but he almost all of the big play coming against them or coverage well. You know the bottom it's not that happened but. It's also not sending anybody thought it was going to be sustainable all the way agencies you know is one thing you can say. About a Bill Belichick coached team that people know what they're supposed to be doing it and you don't and even make the same sequence of mistakes. Over and over again and they a biography at the start of this season plan. A bunch of those guys and secondary just couldn't get the same page and cut some some big plays but that's evened itself let you know that the second month that he's in the world lot fewer. The third month NC nor hardly any so. Now we're seeing really what the defense is which is much better than it that looked. Over those first few weeks of the season I still don't think it's. A great unit but we never expected to be coming into the season we expected the patriots the team. That would be carried by the offense and defense you really need to be good enough to hold up I think that's secondary indicators were playing. A lot better over the second half of the year and then up front seven based its capacity to be good enough and not be a liability. And Arnold the other numbers or anything right for you could do to help me out this has Stephon Gilmore is play. That a big factor in the overall defense improving. Yet he he has been. He thank you and unsealed last month yet. The first game against Miami again at buffalo that particular worm monster great for him and spent two games this season. Over the past month he's going to let them like a 130 yards total in its coverage. Playing dramatically better still the target of cuts yet some fog of more coming back and not being at the heart of coverage but has been a big thing. Where do you see this team going DC any team in the AST that can challenge them. The AFC and I both conferences I think are really wide open I think the patriots are probably still the favorites but. I think this past week it was a big game for Pittsburgh in terms of showing themselves as much as anything else that they could. Beat the patriots in crunch time it you know they didn't. Get it done but everything else from the game I think. Is a positive statement show that they could change up their scheme that would work by and large they found the big flow within the new game plan which is. We just need a better way of trying to cover gronkowski because well much on Davis won't do it. And they get all that with that Antonio Brown for most of the game so. I think overall that was a positive for the Steelers and it would give them confidence that they can go beat the patriots. In the playoffs. I think the jag words are pretty terrifying team at the moment that defense is phenomenal especially against the times. If it get a huge amount of pressure up front and it got the best cornerback tandem in the lead it. Natively in that jail ran behind it though. But the big thing about them is that Blake portals the quarterback is actually playing a lot better over the past few weeks it's not you know the first out of the season. They were only doing everything it could to make sure he didn't have to possible at all. But now and we thank you impart that to rolling so I don't know if there's anybody that wants face the jags in the play outside. Yeah I was actually gonna say that that would be a fascinating mashup deceit Tom Brady go against that Jacksonville defense is obviously good idea at Gillette Stadium but. Do you think that the jaguar that match up board may be favored the jaguars defense how would you see that potentially gone. Yeah that would be I think one of the match ups. The play out is that if that happens. It's stopped any ever favorite team over the Patriots offense is because we've seen them. Be so successful. Time and time again but. These jags defense may be the best. Seemingly had the best defense in the league. I think that happens we might see the patriots go to one of those. Run heavy game plan today that employed in the and really trying grind that on the ground is that where. This defense struggled the most there's so good again that it would be. It would definitely taking things. Taking risks two runs with a time of game time. If you try to pound the ball then it throat they at least leave some space and so. Gap integrity issues were basically the run that you might get looks like them better. Breezy in the NFC obviously that's pretty wide open a lot of entries that have impacted things but he see as the favorite Kamal over there. Yeah I mean the embassy chaos because the two best teams in the lead in the conference at least in terms. Overall record of both working with backup quarterback. He's got Nichols. In Philadelphia. And take keep him with the vikings. And I think both teams are still fine despite that that the vikings. We've been waiting for the wheels fall off its case you know like an off season put anything he's actually playing better as the year goes on. And loans that offensive line remains Alfie at least give them an adequate offense line in front of them. I think you might actually be a legitimate. Decent starter you know they've got quality receivers in the funded island eland echoed that deeper now as well. And a defense obviously is one of the best in the league as well so I think he's infection in reasonable shape. And then the eagle. I mean I wrote. After Winslet then that I think they might actually be okay whistles because. Back coaching sound systems such a good job all season long. Putting went in really good positions to succeed you know they ran more run pass options market goes in any but he ultimately by distance. And they they schemes Carson went up really well in terms. Having simple reason having easy. Easy passing up but you essentially taken by the US defense giving him. And those same things are gonna make it easier for Nichols be successful as well and yet the history. I think. Having stretches of play where the scheme has been has enabled him to be extremely productive and efficient. Without him actually playing very well I think just look at the numbers. From the first David exact same thing in ninety play that well but the numbers are fantastic passer rating extremely high completion president elect I think four touchdown. And so. I think eagle then the vikings. Are both in decent shape despite back up quarterback. But it always give you pause for concern you start looking at the saints come playoff time or. You know even that the Panthers where it. Packed town in Newton there's just more pedigree and more trust built into you. Quarterbacks that we've seen do it before. Before LA go I know here in the prediction business but do you ever Super Bowl prediction already. I I I think you've still got to leave with the patriots you know until another team gives you reason to say that you would favor them on the anything yet done that and you've got to see the patriots coming at see. BA at the embassy in. Complete I just can't take anybody coming out this total chaos I'm not sure you would favor and you. The top five seats coming out of that conference really of any one weaker team in the entire. Conference ID one thing that place just. They thanks much for joining me C emirate really enjoyed the conversation didn't find your stuff. I'm pro football focus and also on Twitter at PF at underscore Sam Sam thanks so much. Yeah.