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Donovan McNabb's New Demon, Tom Brady's Old, and More by Doug Cutler Jr

By Patriots Blog Writer Doug Cutler Jr.

First, a word about Michael Vick signing with a new team

Last night we heard the news that former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick had signed a one year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. What’s notable about the signing is how quickly a team, any team, put ink on paper for Vick’s services. Just a few weeks after being released from federal prison, he’s reporting to an NFL club for duty.

Another curious aspect of the deal is the fact that it was the Eagles who pulled the trigger first. With all the (not so) recent complications and headaches associated with Donovan McNabb being the #1 QB on the team, it’s certainly worth a raised eyebrow or three that Vick was brought in. Most assuredly McNabb isn’t in danger of losing his starting job to Vick (or any other QB) when he’s healthy and productive, but anyone with decent mid-term memory knows that he’s had plenty of issues with staying upright.

Given history of McNabb’s stormy relationship with the club and its fans, if at any point this season he falters everyone in the football universe is going to be watching the Donovan McNabb Death Clock. I know this. You know this. He knows this, and that’s bound to be an issue. Bank on it.

Tick tick tick.

Yesterday’s game

Yes, it’s just the pre-season. Yes, last night’s game was just the first contest in the pre-season. However, at the very least Tom Brady’s first post-injury foray into the maelstrom known as NFL football didn’t wind up with him in tatters and a straight jacket. He looked reasonably sharp and poised and left on his own two feet. Along the way he even threw a few nice passes.

Coming back from a serious injury is never easy, but most often even if the body has healed as much as it can, the mind ends up being the caboose on that train, always being the last to reach home. Chances are, physically Brady is almost there (it is well established that 12-18 months are needed for complete healing from ACL reconstruction), but mentally it takes longer for the mind to catch up and realize everything’s (almost) back to normal.

Look for Brady to continue playing one or two quarters for the rest of the pre-season, unless head coach Bill Belichick decides to hold him out of the last exhibition. By the time the regular season arrives, we’ll have a much better idea on Brady’s physical and mental condition and it’ll be up to him to put last year’s demons behind him.

It will also be up to his team to help keep its quarterback from getting pummeled.

Interesting statistic I’ll bet you didn’t know

There are five players who competed in Super Bowl XXXI for the New England Patriots that are still in the NFL: Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, and Adam Vinatieri.

Answer to last week’s question:

The starting linebackers for the Patriots in Super Bowl XX were Andre Tippett, Don Blackmon, Steve Nelson, and Larry McGrew.

Question of the week:

How many players that were on the Patriots’ roster during the Super Bowl year of 1996 were in the NFL in 1985, the last time the team was in the Super Bowl?

(Answer will be provided next week)


  1. Really great take on Vick's arrival in Philly. It's like putting a gas can close to the fire. Vick hasn't played for 2 years not, and still can't play for at least the first six games. I'm not totally convinced he's going to play like he used to. Guess we'll see!

    Another great take on Brady. You've hit the nail on the head. The incredible talent is still there, but it's what's between his ears now. He needs to gain confidence in his mobility and not get happy feet when the pocket closes.

    Great article, Doug.


  2. I think Philly made an economic decision signing Vick. The economy is bad across the country and even worse in Philly. They picked up Vick for a song, will create alot of buzz and sell alot of merchandise because of it. Philly dumped alot of talent and it is hard to tell what type of team they will have. If McNaab and the team perform poorly they can sit McNaab and play Vick to sell tickets, be the talk of every sports show, lead story on every paper and magazine and the top story on Sportscenter. Philly hedged it's bet in case this team tanks.


  3. Right on with Vick for sure, he will be a ticket seller and an insurance policy for next to nothing, or trade bait next year. Can you say....WildCat? Brady looked real good, we'll wait and see for the long gruelling season.

  4. Sandman67 wrote...

    Leave it to the Eagles to grab this guy. I'm actually surprised the Cowboys didn't. Honestly he has no place in the NFL. Yea I know...forgiveness..well fine, I forgive him, but being employed in a postion where you will have kids looking up to you is not in the definition of the word forgiveness.

    It really boggles my mind how sports clubs will go out of thier way to sign players with less than ideal histories when there are so so many very good replacements out there with better moral values that I would rather have my kids look up too and idolize. Why do we keep rewarding these donkeys (for lack of a better word that will not get this reply posted) when better human beings with just slightly less talent sit at home????

  5. nice...wowww..supperrrrrrrrrrrrrr........