Know the game
The Quarterback starts the huddle, making sure the center is the first man exactly eight yards behind the ball. He then takes his place at the end of the huddle, nearest to his sideline. The rest of the players adjust around him.
There are 40 seconds available to start the play. The Quarterback needs to be as efficient as possible with the play clock. In the huddle, he does all the talking and the other players listen. Once he commands his troops, he issues a “ready” call, and the rest of the players clap their hands in unison and hustle out to their spots in the formation.
Life of the Quarterback
At the line of scrimmage he is responsible for pre-snap reads:
- What is the base defensive formation in front of him
- Signaling players into motion to determine coverage (zone / man)
- Identifying the central point of the defense ….. “52 is the MIC”
- Using codes to alert the offensive players of any context or urgency: Omaha (play clock below 5), Rambo (detached receiver is uncovered), Easy (snap the ball on second sound)…
He is also responsible for any adjustments before the snap:
- Issuing audibles
- Declaring a new snap count, if different from just going on (1)
Again, all of the above is done in a 40 second window of time.
Don’t forget about the other info being processed:
- The location of the backs (Normal H / Near / Far / Up / On / Split / Flood / Zero / Eagle)
- The variations of alignment for the Tight-End (Normal / Flex / Wide / On / Off)
- The variations of shifts for the formation, depending on the personnel grouping he has on the field
To be successful at his job, he needs to have complete mastery of the offensive system as well as his body and motor-skills. To achieve that mastery, he lives and breathes all things practice, repetition, and total commitment to the team.
That’s why there are so few “elite” Quarterbacks in the world — it’s back-breaking hard-work and requires military-like discipline.
Rules are rules, and rules should be followed. If rules were proven to be broken (and let me be clear, “most-probably sorta were broken” is not appropriate articles of proof), punishments should be doled out, especially if Tom in this case got himself caught in a stupid lie.
Let’s get one thing straight for those out for blood. Reducing the difference of a football from 13.5 PSI to 12.5 PSI, is NOT the reason the following happened in the 2014–2015 Patriots season.
Bouncing back after “The decline of Brady”
Remember the fateful Monday night when the Patriots got absolutely TROUNCED by the Kansas City Chiefs on national television? The week after they picked themselves off the mat and hung 43 points on the (at the time) undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.
Key stats from that game, none affected by a PSI differential of +/- 1 …
- Forcing three Bengals fumbles
- Kyle Arrington returning a fumble for a touchdown
- Ridley rushing for 113 yards
- Vereen rushing for an additional 90 yards
- Holding Giovani Bernard to 62 yards on the ground
AFC Championship Game
Or how about the time that Patriots bullied the Indianapolis Colts to the tune of 45–7 in the AFC Championship game…
Some more key stats, again, not affected by the state of pressure of the ball…
- Holding TY Hilton to 36 yards receiving
- Holding Andrew Luck to 126 total passing yards, and zero TD’s
- LeGarrette Blount rushing for 148 yards and three TD’s
What I feel is the most compelling argument in defense of Brady and the Pats, are the examples found in the biggest game of them all.
First, Belichick calling in Malcolm Butler at the last second to jump a route they had been drilling on all week during practice.
Second, not taking a time-out and pressuring Pete Carroll into calling the dumbest play in the history of the Superbowl.
Both of these made the game and season for the Patriots. But no one seems to remember that. Everyone lingers on deflate-gate, and minimizes what should be recognized as a truly remarkable accomplishment.
If you are still bent out of shape over deflate-gate, or the Patriots being big-bad stinking cheaters, by all means continue to cry-out for justice. If you love the game of football as much as I do, let the league determine what Brady gets as far as punishment (if anything, and again based on proof and not hearsay) and be done with it.
The 2014–2015 Patriots were a GREAT football team, who fought through adversity to win what was arguably the best Superbowl of all-time.
Tom Brady is the GREATEST to ever put on a helmet, and despite (possibly) getting himself caught in a lie — he should be recognized as such based on his accomplishments.