Dye-Gest: Lots to Like About Brady at QB

College Football Hall of Fame coach Pat Dye writes about the Super Bowl and Auburn's upcoming spring drills.

Tom Brady (above) added to his impressive legacy with another Super Bowl ring.


Now that the Super Bowl is done the 2016 football season is officially over. I don’t know how the NFL could have orchestrated a better game. Football fans will likely talk about that one for years.

When the game started it looked like Atlanta was playing faster than New England and that explains why the Falcons jumped out to a big lead. The Falcons appeared to be more excited about being there and they were playing harder. Combine that with New England’s turnovers and the Patriots found themselves down 28-3 with their situation looking grim.

In the first half what got my attention was the Falcons built their 21-3 lead despite not keeping the New England defense on the field for very long. As the game went along it looked like Atlanta’s defense began to lose its quickness edge because the Falcons’ offense couldn’t make enough first downs and the time of possession mounted up in favor of the Patriots.

When the final whistle blew the Falcons had defended 93 plays while the Patriots defended only 46 plays. That was a big part of New England’s comeback. Early in the game the Falcons had been getting pressure on Brady and harassing him. In the second half and overtime he had a lot more time to find his receivers.

When the game moved into overtime the Patriots did the exact thing that worked for them during the comeback. They spread out the Falcons’ defense and threw the football.

Atlanta’s coach, Dan Quinn, is a disciple of Seattle’s Pete Carroll. Their defensive philosophy is to be simple and play fast. That is what they did. They didn’t do anything to try to confuse Tom Brady at all so when the quarterback went to the line of scrimmage he knew exactly what coverage the Falcons were in.

Atlanta played three-deep zone or five-man with a free safety, which is what they did most of the time. The first half the Falcons played fast and quick. When New England threw those short passes the defense was in great position to make plays short of the first down marker. However, as the game wore on that changed.

It was an historical and impressive win for Coach Bill Belichik and Brady. I think it solidified the theory that Belichick is as good as anybody who has coached in the NFL. We even saw some personality from him after it was over because I am sure he knew how improbable it was for his team to come back from a 28-3 deficit.

I am very impressed with Brady. He is as strong a leader as I have ever seen at the quarterback position. He has a tremendous, positive influence on his teammates. He never, ever passes up the opportunity talk about the team aspect of New England’s successes. He is a great player and a very smart one, too.

On the subject of quarterback play the Auburn Tigers will be looking to take a step forward in that area during the 2017 season. At the end of this month Coach Gus Malzahn will have his players back on the field for spring training.

One of the areas of interest is how the three newcomers in the competition perform this spring with transfer Jarrett Stidham and early high school graduate Malik Willis joining redshirt freshman Woody Barrett in the competitition. Improved play at quarterback can go a long way towards improving Auburn’s record this fall.

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