How will Tom Brady leaving New England impact the future of the franchise?
According to CBS Sports' Phil Simms, perhaps not as much as some think.
“I would say this: If the Patriots have a winning season — and Bill will hate this — but I think that’s a tremendous plus, tremendous, given everything,” Simms said to the Boston Globe's Tara Sullivan. “And if they have a winning season, then look out, they’re coming back and it’s going to turn, go right back into another era of winning. I really believe that.”
With that being said, Simms believes the time away from facilities because of COVID-19 impacts the Patriots maybe more than some other teams.
“This time being off, for as meticulous as they are, how they teach, this does hurt teams like them more,” he said. “I don’t care if other coaches get offended, it’s the truth. They piece it together from the ground up, they never rush that building process. This will hurt them as much as any team. It’s not all the same; I’m sorry, guys, but it’s not.”
Even with second-year player Jarrett Stidham the likely starting quarterback this season, the former Giants QB says it will still be "business and usual" with the Patriots.
“Listen, I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t know," he said. "Everyone knows it. It’s business as usual up there. They’re not running around going, ‘What are we going to do?’ We know that. A great way to describe it is that it’s as if they are soldiers, they just march, and that’s what they do. It never changes. They’re just so steady. They’ve got it down and they keep working on it, saying, ‘We do what we do.’ When there are new ideas, they add onto what they’ve got. They keep building and building.
“I’m sure there’s no anxiety, I know people don’t believe that. I’m just telling you I know, they’re not going, ‘Oh no!’ If there’s any anxiety, it’s that they drew the hardest schedule in the NFL.”
While NFL teams are starting to be able to return to facilities with support staff, it still remains unclear when players and coaches will be allowed back.