Rodney Harrison has seen firsthand what Tom Brady is capable of. The NFL analyst for NBC played safety for the Patriots from 2003-2008 and has two Super Bowl rings. But the Brady he saw on Monday night against the Chiefs, the very same Brady that was on the business end of a 41-14 whooping and who also threw two interceptions (including a pick-six), looks nothing like the dominating quarterback Harrison remembers. Not even close.
During an appearance on WEEI on Tuesday, Harrison said Brady looks "scared to death," which probably isn't far off given that his offensive line is in shambles and he has little-to-no faith in his wide receivers.
"Tom Brady can still play," Harrison said (via ESPNBoston.com). "But when you surround him -- there's a reason why Brandon LaFell was let go (by Carolina). He's not a great player. He's a young guy, and he has to make his way in this league.
"And Danny Amendola, you look at him, no one ever said he was a great player. He's always been hurt. The history is behind it. Rob Gronkowski obviously coming off that ACL injury, he's been hurt. So it's not like when you look at the Patriots on paper they just have all these weapons and teams are afraid of them."
It was so bad that coach Bill Belichick pulled Brady with 10:34 to go in the fourth quarter for rookie Jimmy Garrapolo. And while the move was almost certainly for Brady's safety, Belichick was actually asked about the quarterback situation in his post game press conference.
"Whether Bill pulled [Brady] because he's afraid he was going to get injured, or Bill was trying to send him a non-subtle message, as a player your mind kind of starts playing tricks on you and you start thinking like, 'What's going on?'" Harrison said. "But at the end of the day, Tom needs to play better. The offensive line needs to protect him, but Tom -- we've said it week in and week out -- he's missing opportunities that are there; he's just floating the ball in the air. ...
"I think it's one of those situations where Brady, he's really, really frustrated," Harrison said. "He doesn't have any confidence in his offensive line. And unfortunately, they're meeting one of the most complete teams in the National Football League."
Next up: The Pats host one of AFC's best teams: the 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals.