PA­TRI­OTS MAIL BAG

Boston Herald - - BASEBALL SCOREBOARD - High­lights from Jeff Howe’s Twit­ter mail­bag on Boston­Her­ald.com:

Q: Is the per­fec­tion of Tom Brady’s throw to Brandin Cooks for the game-win­ning touch­down over­looked be­cause of Brady’s great­ness? — @OldUn­cleBoo­gie

A: I don't think so. The throw and ex­e­cu­tion were great from start to fin­ish.

I learned a few years ago on this job never to take Brady's per­for­mances for granted. It's easy to be­cause he has played at the high­est level for so long, and the ex­pec­ta­tions are as­tro­nom­i­cal on a daily ba­sis. For ex­am­ple, if he has a prac­tice in train­ing camp when he's off on three or four throws, peo­ple kind of freak out.

I be­gan cov­er­ing the Pa­tri­ots in 2009, so I've had a first-hand view of much of Brady's ca­reer. I got a bit of a wakeup call in 2012 when I trav­eled to Tampa to cover joint prac­tices with the Buccaneers and watched Josh Free­man for a week. Ditto for the 2013 trip to Philly to see Nick Foles throw for a few days. And on and on. Heck, just watch some of the hor­ren­dous quar­ter­back play around the rest of the league Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Brady's play shouldn't be taken for granted for many rea­sons, the great­est of which is that his ca­reer is in its lat­ter stage. Even if he plays an­other five years, he's still in the back quar­ter. Un­der the no­tion that he's the great­est of all-time, it'll never be as good as this. And from some­one who has seen other quar­ter­backs around the league who strug­gle to take a snap and throw a com­ple­tion on a sim­ple slant route when there's no de­fense on the field, trust me. I've seen some things. And they aren't al­ways very pretty.

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