BOSTON (CBS) — Max Kellerman hasn’t been a big believer of Tom Brady in recent seasons, as he waits for the Patriots quarterback to “fall off a cliff.” But as Brady continues to play at an elite level at age 40, Kellerman has been forced to re-calibrate his argument by throwing injury possibilities into the mix.
So clearly, Kellerman is also not a believer in the TB12 Method.
Nearly a month after sticking to his guns on the cliff argument, and sneaking in the idea of a serious injury becoming more likely for the 40-year-old, Kellerman is back at it again. This time, he used Bill Belichick’s decision to leave Brady in late in the game against the Dolphins as a reason why the cliff could be approaching. Apparently, he believes Belichick could be about to push Brady over the cliff.
“Tom Brady is at the age where he is more likely to be hurt,” Kellerman said on ESPN’s First Take in a debate with Stephen A. Smith over the topic. “Not only has he taken a lot of hits this season – and those hits add up over the course of a career – but as you get older, you get more brittle and you’re more likely to suffer a catastrophic injury on a hit. That’s one of the reasons I talk about the cliff. … Injury is a big part of the cliff.”
He added that Belichick used flawed logic in keeping Brady in the game due to his importance to the team in winning the game, arguing that if Brady is that important than the coach should be doing more to protect him. Belichick snapped back at the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian after the game, which the Patriots won 35-17, after being asked if he considered removing Brady in the fourth quarter.
Kellerman isn’t necessarily wrong about the possibility of a major injury to Brady and the impact it would have on the Patriots, but it was not a “big part” of his original argument. He cited retired players like Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter, whose performance declined rapidly as they approached age 40, as a reason why the same would happen to Brady.
Since he made the declaration that Brady would “be a bum in short order” in the summer of 2016, Brady has gone 663-for-982 (67.5 percent) passing for 8,065 yards, 61 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a 109.9 passer rating. Brady may decline some day, but at this point Kellerman is just moving the goalposts.