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As training camp kicks off at Gillette Stadium in roughly two weeks, we’ll take a look at five questions that will be on the minds of many.
Part I: Tom Brady | Part II: The Secondary | Part III | Part IV | Part V
Early indications make it seem evident that Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, will be healthy come training camp. However, coming off an ACL injury is no easy task. Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals had a similar injury happen to him against the Pittsburgh Steelers a few years ago, however Palmer’s healing process expanded over a year and half. And even when Palmer was fully healed and saw game action he was suspect that season for the Bengals. So, how will Brady fair this season? That’s the big question. The Patriots go as far as the right arm of Brady will lead them, so it’s imperative for the star quarterback to be healthy for the Patriots from this point out.
Although he may look strong right now and through training camp, there is still a sense of uncertainty on how he will respond to contact in live game action, especially when the pocket collapses and he is forced to use his mobility.
If, for someone reason, Brady does tweak his knee at some point in the season, are the Patriots comfortable with second year man Kevin O’Connell stepping in? One would be led to believe yes, they are. The injury to Brady last season could have been a blessing in disguise for O’Connell, who saw a high number of reps throughout the week in practice; reps that he wouldn’t have been able to take if Brady wasn’t injured. Because of this, O’Connell is making terrific progress after being drafted in the third round out of San Diego State University in 2008. It’s also worth noting that the Patriots did not sign a veteran QB in-case of an injury to Brady, thus showing the confidence they have in O’Connell. In my opinion, I don’t see why O’Connell couldn’t do a similar job to what Matt Cassel did last season if he was thrust into duty.
Hopefully, though, O’Connell won’t have to see the field for the Patriots for a couple of years.