When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you’re man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw he sees ghosts, … Even when guys aren’t around him, even when he’s not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we’ll see him duck, we’ll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.
I bet that Ryan Clark wishes he could take those comments back right about now.
Even though Pittsburgh’s free safety uttered those unkind words about one of the league’s best quarterbacks back in May, I am sure that Tom Brady still remembers them fondly.
Of course, it probably would have been a good idea if Clark had remembered the last time that one of the Steelers’ free safeties publicly besmirched New England’s signal-caller before a game. I am sure you readers remember, or have tried to forget, Pittsburgh’s drubbing at the hands of the Patriots back in 2007.
Before that game, which pitted a still-undefeated Patriots team against the Steelers, Pittsburgh’s starting free safety Anthony Smith “guaranteed” a win versus Brady and the Patriots. True to their 2007 regular season form, New England steamrolled Pittsburgh and ate Dick LeBeau’s defense alive that afternoon by a score of 34-13.
Brady torched Pittsburgh’s secondary for 399 yards through the air and four touchdowns that afternoon, and it was only fitting to see the quarterback give the bone-headed safety a healthy dose of trash-talking after one of his touchdowns to Randy Moss.
As much as I dislike Brady and the Patriots for denying the Steelers two trips to the Super Bowl during the previous decade, Smith totally deserved what he got that afternoon from New England’s offense.
With that in mind, I hope that Clark is ready to have a target on his back when the Patriots throw the ball this weekend.
Remember, Smith only said that the Steelers would win. He said nothing disparaging about Brady and his pocket-presence like Clark did back in May. While securing a victory is probably the first thing which is on the mind of New England’s signal-caller, I am sure that Brady would love to make Clark “eat crow” as an added bonus on Sunday afternoon.
With all of his offensive weapons (Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Tompkins, Rob Gronkowski) likely to be at his disposal against the Steelers, Brady should have a relatively easy time dissecting Pittsburgh’s secondary if LeBeau employs his cake-easy soft-zone scheme.
If LeBeau does not mix press-man into the game-plan this weekend, then Brady will “paper cut” Pittsburgh’s defense to death with screens, slants, and outs before he will pick on Clark and the safeties on the deeper throws.
Who knows? Maybe if Brady embarrasses Clark enough, then the team will have to give Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden more playing time regardless if they win or lose.
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