For part of December, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn’t seem to be himself. He has since regained his full capabilities, fueling speculation that he secretly was dealing with a knee injury.
On Monday, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels faced a couple of questions regarding the dip in Brady’s play, and the apparent recovery.
“I don’t know what you’re referring to,” McDaniels said regarding whether someone spotted and fixed a flaw in Brady’s mechanics. “We talk about a lot of things each week but there’s nothing — he’s one of the, if not the, most fundamentally sound passers of the football that I think there’s ever been. He works on his fundamentals and his craft every week, every day and we have a lot of confidence in that. I know he has a lot of confidence in that and his confidence comes from the work that he puts in. So no, no big changes.”
McDaniels then was asked more specifically whether Brady somehow got off his game, and whether someone discovered that something was fixed, resulting in Brady looking a lot sharper over the past three games.
“I don’t know,” McDaniels said. “You’d have to ask him in terms of something specific to that. We work on a lot of things every week, part of that’s fundamentals, part of that’s understanding the defense, part of that’s footwork, part of that’s our game plan and the design that we have in place that week. There’s a lot of things that go into having success on an individual play or in an individual game, many of which can be attributed to a lot of factors. So again, what matters is how we continue to try to work and perform as we go forward, and we’re going to do everything we can to have our best game this week and I know Tom will too.”
If there was nothing specific about Brady’s performance that the team spotted and improved, one possible alternative explanation becomes that the obvious decline from Brady arose from an injury that no one outside the building knew about. Indeed, it’s possible that Brady was the only person in the building who knew about it, opting to sidestep the official in-house training services (which would have required the injury to be disclosed on the official practice report) and get it taken care of on his own, with the assistance of Alex Guerrero.
Thus, if the Patriots never knew about a knee injury, the Patriots would have had no obligation to disclose a knee injury. And if the Brady never received treatment for a knee injury, the Patriots never would have known about one.
And if there was a knee injury, it’s clearly gone. Brady is playing as well as ever, which is great news for New England, and not-so-great news for Kansas City.