ESPN personality, Max Kellerman of First Take, has been known for his hot takes in the past, and his assessment of Tom Brady falls squarely in the “hot take” category.
There is one significant difference between an ESPN personality and an analyst: film. The personality has a job to entertain, and people like Max Kellerman excel in this field. But it is evident that Kellerman neglected the film aspect of analysis before expressing his take on Tom Brady after the first week.
Kellerman provided numerous points that make sense at their face value in his criticism of Brady, but logic is not the best way to evaluate athletes.
The first point made was based on the one unit that is almost always used to evaluate quarterbacks, but also happens to be the worst metric possible: wins. Quarterback wins are not a stat, have never been a stat, and will never be a stat.
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Great quarterbacks lose games all the time. Receivers drop passes, running backs fumble the ball, defenses collapse, and head coaches make boneheaded decisions in the worst moments. There is no conceivable way to place all of the blame on one player in a team sport.
“Great players win,” they love to say, but if that were the case, why is Dan Marino in the Hall of Fame? Quick game results are the easiest, least effective way to evaluate a player in sports. A deeper analysis of stats and the film shows that Brady has actually improved over last season, rather than declined.
Brady’s completion percentage in his first game was 63.9% (higher than his career average), and his touchdown rate was 5.6% (higher than his career average). Brady did see his interception rate skyrocket, but that was perhaps due to his limited presence in the passing game and the baffling reliance on the run.
PFF.com grades are never the end-all regarding a player’s performance, but Brady graded out to the 7th highest amongst quarterbacks in week one when all factors were considered (winning was not one of said factors).
There are obviously going to be growing pains for the new Buccaneer offense, but to take one game and to use that as justification for a drop off in ability, when the stats and film prove otherwise, causes there to be justifiable questions regarding a take.