EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 22, 2007

Jumpstart the dynasty Priority one: Time to help Tom Brady

INDIANAPOLIS - Tom Brady will head home, tomorrow probably.

To San Mateo or some exclusive condo complex in the Back Bay, maybe even a golf resort in warmer climes to get ready for his upcoming appearance at Pebble Beach with the PGA Tour folk.

Chances are, he'll be back hitting the weights and throwing square outs by March 1. There will be mini-camps and he will again sweat and strive toward the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots had better respond in kind. They owe it to you. And more importantly, they owe it to No. 12.

The gritty kid out of Northern California took a rag-tag offensive group within a whisker of the Super Bowl. We overlooked the greatness, doubted it, even heaped praise on his "improving" receivers.

Once all the confetti hit the floor here at the RCA Dome, after the Colts outgunned the Patriots, 38-34, it all seemed a little empty.

It feels like another year wasted. Another year of Brady wonders gone for naught.

No Super Bowl. No Lombardi Trophy. No duck-boat rides into Government Center.

New England management has to look itself in the mirror this morning.

Amazing how one more regular season win might have changed all this. One less dumb loss could have put this game in Foxboro, not here where the Colts fans really believe they are part of this team, blowing out eardrums like an Aerosmith concert.

At 29 years old, Brady is in his prime. New England management can piece together another Super Bowl run if this Canton-bound quarterback has the right players around him.

We can have another burst like 2001-2004, with the three Super Bowl titles. But Tom Brady, as reluctant as he is to ask, needs help.

Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney are not the lead receivers of a Super Bowl champion.

This offense needs a game-breaker - a Reggie Bush, a Reggie Wayne, somebody who can score from anywhere on the field. He could also use a bigtime left tackle so Matt Light could move to a more natural position.

Tom Brady is just too good. He deserves better.

It showed yesterday. It showed all year.

Football takes over region

Horseshoes are everywhere as game day arrives in the land that Peyton Manning made famous.

A three-inch barrage of snow burst through the region late last night, turning the downtown area into a slushy mess.

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