ESPN’s Ron Jaworski ranked the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady as the number 3 quarterback in the NFL, placing him behind both Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
This comes on the heels of NFL players voting Brady in at number 4 on the NFL’s Top 100 of 2012 list.
Here’s what Jaws had to say about Brady’s best attributes:
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more comfortable pocket quarterback than Brady,” Jaworski said, via ESPN’s AFC East blog. “There have been times over the years he’s literally been a statue in the pocket — static, stationary, motionless. I can tell you from experience that’s a rare trait. Everything is happening very fast. The ability to slow down your body like that, that’s remarkable.”
I expressed my disappointment with Brady’s ranking in the Top 100 in my round up of the top ten a few weeks back. Going off of the eye test, I’m forced to disagree with the assessments of both the players and Mr. Jaworski – there’s just no way for me to rank Drew Brees above Tom Brady.
Brady’s 2007 season is the stuff of legend. It is arguably the greatest season ever experienced by a quarterback. While leading his team to a 16-0 regular season record, Brady rewrote the record books for quarterbacks. He finished the season with an NFL All-Time high of 50 touchdown passes. He also set the record for most consecutive games with three or more touchdown passes, reaching that mark in nine straight contests.
Those feats are almost half a decade old now, but Brady has had signature performances in the seasons thereafter. In 2009, after missing all but one quarter of the 2008 season, Brady put on a performance for the ages. In Week 6, Brady endured near blizzard-like conditions to toss six (6!) first half touchdowns during a 59-0 ass whipping of the Tennessee Titans. In 2010, Brady collected his second regular season MVP trophy after finishing the year with 36 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He began the 2011 season by throwing for an astounding 517 yards and four touchdown passes on his way to leading the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl appearance during his time as a starter.
Now, this isn’t to say Brees is a bad quarterback. He has performed at an elite level for six consecutive seasons to this point, earning an MVP award and a Super Bowl ring in the process. However, when it comes to who I’d rather build my team around, give me the guy with three Super Bowl wins out of five appearances and two MVP awards to his name. Brady has been a top of the line performer for over a decade now, doing his damage out in the elements. Brees’ statistical totals have been falsely inflated due to playing 9+ games per season inside the perfect weather conditions of a dome. Football is meant to be played outside you pansies.
For what it’s, I have no issues with ranking Aaron Rodgers number 1 in the QB pool. He possesses the pocket presence and pin point accuracy of both Brees and Brady that is augmented by his elusiveness once plays break down. Rodgers just may be head and shoulders above the rest of his peers.