Brady's Return Marks a Turning Point

Benjamin AltsherContributor IMay 26, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 7:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is helped off the field by trainers after he sustained an injury to his left knee in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium September 7, 2008 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The scene above ended the NFL season not just for Tom Brady, but in the eyes of several fans, it ended the Patriots' 2008 campaign. 

Today, Brady rejoined his team in football related activities for the first time in over half a year.  After a fall and a winter full of stories about knee surgery, staph infection, and promises of a return to greatness, New England fans have a reason to be hopeful again.

We in the Northeast have always had this prevailing sense of pessimism about our teams.  For example, the Red Sox just took over the AL East lead and all anyone can talk about is the poor play of David Ortiz or the hard-charging Yankees.

Realistically speaking, Brady isn't doing anything remarkable.  In fact, I did the same exact thing this Memorial Day weekend in my backyard.  What is different is that Brady is back on the field, walking around with an air of leadership that only he has.

Make no mistake, this is Brady's team.  It would be foolish to believe that just because the Patriots aren't sentimental when it comes to a player's age and ability, that they feel that way about Brady.

He is the inspirational leader above all inspirational leaders on the team.  He is the true definition of what a Patriot quarterback is and should be.

This is why a simple throwing exercise in shorts and a t-shirt is such remarkable news.  As good a job as Matt Cassel did in filling in for Brady a year ago, no one can replace him.  Like his coach, he gets more out of his players than anyone else can.

So I'm glad to report Brady is back, and the good vibes are flowing again in New England.  The Patriots are back...with their true captain at the helm.