There Is Just Something About the New England Patriots' System

Erin McLaughlinSenior Analyst IIJuly 6, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Quarterbacks Tom Brady #12 and Matt Cassel #16 of the New England Patriots takes the field before his team takes on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Many Denver Bronco fans have been upset this offseason with the departure of Jay Cutler. Many are mad at Josh McDaniels for how he handled the whole ordeal. Looking at it, I think Kyle Orton may be a blessing in disguise for the Broncos.

The reason is that Cutler is really a gunslinger and that really isn't the kind of quarterbacks that have gone through the system. They generally take guys who are already smart and manage the game well. They don't want a guy who will kill them with mistakes.

If the quarterback already possesses these qualities, the coaches can turn them into a superstar. Let's look at three quarterbacks that have gone through the system.

Tom Brady

At Michigan, he was what I like to call a bridge quarterback. That is a quarterback that follows one great quarterback and there is another great prospect waiting in the wings. In Brady's case he followed Brian Griese who led Michigan to their first National championship in a long time. Waiting in the wings was Drew Henson.

Brady was really the guy to keep it above water until Henson was ready. That is why I use the term bridge QB. He is the link between great QBs.

It is funny how things work out because Brady has obviously gone on to be the best quarterback in the NFL and Griese and Henson are both career backups.

Brady Quinn

I realize that he has yet to have a chance to establish himself in the NFL, but still the Patriot system has definitely had an impact on him.

At Notre Dame he was a very mediocre quarterback under Tyrone Willingham. Charlie Weis came in and Quinn ends up breaking many school passing records and leading them to the BCS.

When Weis first took over at Notre Dame, it was fitting that his QB was named Brady because the offense he implemented was a spitting image of the patriots.

It will be exciting to see what he does at the NFL level when he is ever given his chance. It should be this year.

Matt Cassel

This is the ultimate story of how effective the Patriots system is. Cassel never even played at USC. Then he came in last year and does an amazing job.

The funny thing is that both he and Quinn get criticized for not going downfield and checking down. Well I would rather have them do that than force it into triple coverage. That is especially true while they are still developing.

I bet Matt Leinart felt very weird last year when Arizona made a trip to New England. He had to watch Cassel start for the other team while he entered the game late in a blowout loss.

Is Kyle Orton the next great experiment for this system? That remains to be seen but he does have some of the same qualities that all three of the other guys have.


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