It was surprising to hear the Patriots might not bring in another quarterback for Thursday night’s game against Houston. With Tom Brady sitting out a suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo healing from a shoulder injury, conventional wisdom would say the team would at least bring someone in just in case rookie Jacoby Brissett got injured himself.
Enter Bill Belichick, the head coach who is never constrained by conventional wisdom. Coach 4th-and-2 apparently decided he doesn’t need to sign another quarterback. And given his track record, it makes more sense to try to understand his logic than slam him for a mistake.
First off, some reports indicate Garoppolo could be available for Thursday’s game. So anyone they brought in would have two or three days to be better than a wounded Garoppolo. Unlikely given the complexities of the Patriots offense.
If Garoppolo can’t go, the next best option would be a quarterback with some time in the system. However, Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel are already on other teams. Matt Flynn, who had a cup of coffee with the team a few years back, is available. But fans who watch the team closely probably know more about the offense than Flynn.
The team could reach back into the past and sign Kevin O’Connell. He backed up Matt Cassel in 2008, the year Brady was injured, and O’Connell is unsigned as of now. But O’Connell never gelled with the offense, and he’d probably just hand the ball off. The team could also call Drew Bledsoe. Err.. never mind.
As you can see, the options to fill in for Garoppolo leave much to be desired.
Another factor to consider is that Tom Brady will indeed be walking back through that door. In less than two weeks, this will become a moot argument, because the team’s real starting quarterback will return to take the reins after the Buffalo game on October 2.
Given all these considerations, it’s no surprise Belichick is drop-kicking the idea of adding a quarterback. If Garoppolo is still injured when Brady returns, there’s an outside chance the team will sign someone just in case. But don’t expect any new QBs on the roster before then.
In the meantime, it’ll be the three J’s — Jacoby, Jimmy, and Julian (Edelman) in the bullpen just in case. And remember, we all thought 2-2 or 3-1 were acceptable during Brady’s absence. So this is no time to make a panic move.