While it’s hard to question what Bill Belichick does with the Patriots, going with just two quarterbacks this season can be summed up in one word: risky.
Sure, half the NFL is going with just two QBs, and those teams don’t have a guy like Tom Brady as their primary play-caller. But given the state of the New England offensive line, and the fact that Brady isn’t getting any younger, there has to be some concern with Ryan Mallett as their only other option at this point in time.
While Mallett did enough to beat out Brian Hoyer for the No. 2 spot this preseason, he was less than impressive overall. If Brady were to go down for any extended period of time, the Patriots would be in trouble regardless, but having Mallett as their guy wouldn’t help the matter. Yes, it worked out OK in 2008 when Brady was lost for the season, and Matt Cassel – who hadn’t started a football game since high school – stepped up, but with a lesser offensive line and watered-down receiver corps (unlike 2008, there won’t be a Randy Moss jetting down the sidelines), Mallett won’t have the same success.
Then again, Vinny Testeverde is probably waiting by his phone, so there is always that.
The situation the Patriots are in no is no riskier had the team not cut Brian Hoyer last week.
Cutting Hoyer wasn't a mistake because Hoyer isn't very good. It's that simple. This move has been dissected by fans and media as if Belichick just severed ties with Steve Young in 1990. But the reality is that this has been perhaps the most competitive camp for roster spots one through 53 of the Belichick era. We saw the team cut Deion Branch, a guy who's won two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP with the team, as well as Dan Koppen, a Pro Bowler, All-Pro and two-time champion. And we're here lamenting the loss of an undrafted fourth-year quarterback from Michigan State? Please.
Ryan Mallett's no Tom Brady, and he might not even be Matt Cassel. But neither was Hoyer. For me (and likely Belichick), that's all this really comes down to. Why keep a guy on the roster if he's not markedly better than the guy behind him on the depth chart? That's especially the case at quarterback, where the backup in New England has thrown exactly zero meaningful passes in nine of Brady's 10 seasons as starter. (Hoyer went 1-for-1 last season.)
Either way, The Patriots are a team that has one goal: winning a Super Bowl. If Brady gets hurt at any point and is out for the year, that's not going to happen, regardless of the safety net in place.
You know, now that I think about it, I think they should just go with one quarterback on the roster. That way, Belichick won't have to deal with being called a big meanie for cutting a sixth-string wide receiver the day before the Super Bowl this year,.