How Should the Patriots Approach the Remainder of Tom Brady's Preseason?

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How Should the Patriots Approach the Remainder of Tom Brady's Preseason?
Not a sight Patriots fans want to see again. (Photo courtesy Steve Balestrieri, PatsFans.com)

It looked a lot like 2008 when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went to the ground, holding his knee in pain during Wednesday's practice. That was the year he tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in the Patriots' Week 1 game against the Chiefs.

Brady missed approximately 15.75 of 16 games, and the Patriots went 11-5 and missed the playoffs with Matt Cassel at QB.

But fear over reliving the 2008 season should not drive the Patriots to put Brady in a plastic bubble for the rest of his life. In fact, the Patriots held Brady out of the 2008 preseason only to watch him suffer that season-ending knee injury within the first 15 minutes of the game.

It hasn't been the greatest of summers at Foxborough, so it's not a shock that Patriots fans expect the worst every time news breaks about their team.

As it turns out, this may have ended as well as it possibly could have, according to Ed Werder of ESPN and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

Brady probably isn't going to play much in Friday's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that was likely to have been the case regardless of Brady bumping his knee.

Still, if you asked most Patriots fans how they'd go about the rest of training camp, their answer would probably involve the words "bubble wrap" and/or "fallout shelter," but the Patriots cannot scrap their whole preseason plan because of one scare over a knee injury.

Brady and his receivers are still building a rapport with one another, and there are three preseason games and two weeks' worth of practice for those players to get valuable repetitions together.

"You just can’t decide, 'OK, September, this is when it’s really important,'" Brady said of working to build chemistry with his new receivers. "You have to start in May, work through June and into July which we have now. August is important because it builds for September. I think all the guys have put a lot of time in over the course of the spring and summer and hopefully it pays off. That’s why we’re out here doing it."

Progress is being made, with Brady finding his new targets all over the field in practice and in games. It looks like rookie receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have earned Brady's trust, as the veteran quarterback continually looks their way in drills. Veteran receiver Danny Amendola has emerged as Brady's favorite target at practice.

This is an important stage in the process, as the team has worked off the rust of the offseason and is now on its way to polishing things up before the season begins.

That's reason enough not to hermetically seal Brady away in the remaining weeks before the Pats face the Buffalo Bills on September 8.

 

  

 

Erik Frenz is also a Patriots/AFC East writer for Boston.com. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or via team news releases.

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