We're back for another week of our "no debate" series with Gillette. This time they're asking which NFL QB is leading the pack this year? You can answer over on their Facebook page.
Obviously the 49ers quarterback position has been one of significant debate all season long. However, instead of rehashing that for umpteenth time in connection with this, I thought it made more sense to look at all the chatter surrounding Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. We all know plenty about Tom Brady and of course, some folks are skeptical about the 49ers chances:
Prime Time Prediction: "Tom Brady is going to carve up the San Francisco 49ers defense," said NFL Network's Deion Sanders. #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) December 14, 2012
Vic Fangio spoke to the media and naturally he was asked about stopping Brady. In response to a question about if the 49ers could stop the Patriots offense:
Is it a dumb question when I ask how do you stop them? Or can you stop them?"Well, I think anytime you're playing a quarterback of this caliber, the definition of a great quarterback, is there really is no one way to stop them. You can't do the same thing for four quarters and expect to slow him down. This is I believe his 12th year starting in this system. He knows how people try and defense this system, how they try and defense him. And there is no one way to defend Brady, which to me is the definition of a great quarterback. Do you want to pressure him some? Yeah. Do you want to cover him some? Yes. Do you want to rush three? Yes. Do you want to rush five, six? Yes. You've got to do a little bit of everything, man, zone, because he's really good."
The pressure issue is a big one. Donte Whitner was pretty clear on the importance of getting to him, stating that "Unless we affect him, we don't have a shot." One of the concerns in "affecting" Brady is the issue of so-called roughing penalties that he seems to draw. I recall watching Monday Night Football and after he took a shot from J.J. Watt, he was quickly up demanding a flag.
That seems to have developed into a fairly regular occurrence, leaving the 49ers pass rushers are stuck in a situation where they need to figure out ways to get pressure on him without dealing with the annoying penalties. Logic would say just continue like normal and let the chips fall where they may. Any other thoughts on how to approach Tom Brady?