|Will the Patriots possibly take another look at Ryan Lindley? (photo source: weei)|
During last Sunday's press conference, Bill Belichick fielded a question about whether the team would choose to carry a third quarterback during Tom Brady's four game suspension to start the season. Belichick admitted the team discussed the issue but in the same response he downplayed the urgency in signing a another signal caller to the roster.
“We’ve talked about it, but we are where we’re at right now,” Belichick said Sunday during a press conference. “It’s a question of who — who it is. I don’t think there’s a lot of Hall of Fame players just sitting there.”
How Belichickian. But still, it's an interesting question. Patriot Nation is confident that Jimmy Garappolo will at least hand over the reigns to Tom Brady with the team at an even .500, or perhaps even sitting pretty at 3-1. But what if Jimmy G gets hurt? In New England we are used to Tom Brady's durability, which outside of his lost season in 2008 after tearing up his knee in the first game vs. the Chiefs that season, has been outstanding. In fact, he hasn't missed a single start otherwise, which is a testament to both Brady's conditioning, intelligence (meaning, his knowing how to avoid the big hit), and toughness. But since we haven't even seen Garoppolo play an entire NFL game yet and given Jimmy's size and scrambling style (which is sometimes reckless), can we just assume he will finish all four games? We can hypothesize all day, but WHAT IF he gets hurt early in the first game at Arizona? Not only would the team have to play the remainder of those games with raw-rookie Jacoby Brissett at the helm, they'd have to sign a quarterback off the street prior to week two and hope he can learn the playbook quickly. The results could be disastrous (see Arizona Cardinals two seasons ago).
Given the aforementioned potential pitfalls of just carrying two quarterbacks, here are a few candidates the team may consider for the third spot.
Ryan Lindley: This is the safest choice. Lindley has almost an entire preseason running the Pats offense under his belt. However, his statistics in his 10 career games are 2 TD's, 11 INT's, and 2 lost fumbles. Yuck!
Matt Flynn: Another player with some experience with the Patriots last summer, Flynn was released in favor of Lindley last August. That in itself suggests the team doesn't believe in the former Packer over Lindley. Indeed, his career numbers are better than Lindley's with 7 career starts, 17 TD's, 11 INT's, and 9 lost fumbles but there was obviously something the Patriots coaching staff didn't like with Flynn.
Josh Freeman: Freeman has by far the most experience in the group with 61 starts, 81 TD's, 68 INT's, and 13 lost fumbles. However, the fleet-footed quarterback hasn't had a productive season since 2012. Despite the decent numbers, perhaps the main reason why Freeman would never don a Patriots uniform is because of the way his career with the Buccaneers ended. And who was the head coach of the Bucs when the team benched him and then released him? Yup, Greg Schiano. 'Nuf said.
Are there any other possible candidates?
Can we Ponder Christian? Not anymore. The 49ers just signed him today.
Tim Tebow? Ha! Just kidding. He has a better chance of playing for the Red Sox this year. By the way, is he a lefty reliever by any chance?
Oh, and for the record . . . I still think they should gamble and carry just their two young quarterbacks. Clearly, there aren't any good options on the open market and roster spots are at a premium with this team.