Greg Cosell of NFL Films has been around the game a long, long time and maybe watches more film than anyone not on a coaching staff.
The analyst joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Monday and was asked to assess Tom Brady's play and he gave two areas that the 42-year-old slipped a bit in last season.
“I mean, I think he’s still a very good player," he said. "I think there were two things that I thought were just not quite at the same level that we know of Tom Brady and his first ballot Hall of Fame career. I would say his pocket movement was not quite as good as it has been throughout his career because he has been a master at being able to manipulate the pocket and navigate the pocket, find that quiet space to throw the ball. Good balance, still seeing down field. He has been a master at that.
“And the other thing I would say is I thought that his ball placement wasn’t quite as consistently precise. He was not inaccurate, but it wasn’t quite as consistently precise as we have seen through 20 years. Through pretty much his entire career, it wasn’t quite at that level.
“Those were two things I would say were just below the Hall of Fame level that it has been over his career.”
Brady will get some better weapons in Tampa Bay this coming season, and Cosell is expecting him to succeed, although he did mention the different offseason perhaps impacting Brady the first few weeks of the season.
“My guess is he will be good," he said. "The only issue he will potentially face is he is a repetition guy. He always has been and the repetition this offseason is not the same at all because teams cannot be on the field together. Even though the quality of skill players is there with receivers being far, far better, I think that is something that will need to be worked through as the season continues. It may not be there the first week or two of the season. That is what Brady is. Brady at his core is a grinder and a repetition guy, as you guys well know. That just has not been allowed to be the case.”