FOXBORO -- Tom Brady's ability to get the football out of his hands quickly is among the many reasons that the Patriots offense is able to be as effective as it has been in recent seasons. Built on the short-to-intermediate passing game, their scheme takes full advantage of Brady's ability to diagnose defenses both before and after the snap, exploiting weaknesses with surgical precision.
There are football websites (like, for example, Pro Football Focus) and football reporters (like our very own Mike Giardi) who keep track of the amount of time it takes for Brady to get the football out of his hands on a week-to-week basis. The numbers have value in that they can be an indication of how well Brady is seeing the game, how quickly his receivers are getting open or how his offensive line is holding up.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, though, seems to have no use for them. Asked about that metric, Belichick was at first confused.
"The, what now?" he asked.
The quick release, quarterback release.
"What metric are you talking about?" Belichick wondered.
There are "advanced metric" websites that, well, seem to track that particular measurement, Belichick was told.
That's when floodgates of distain opened up.
"What the hell is that? I mean, you could take those advanced websites and metric them – whatever you want," he said. "I don’t know. I have no idea. I’ve never looked at one. I don’t even care to look at one. I don’t care what they say.
"As far as a quarterback goes, read the coverage, throw the ball to the open receiver and take the best matchup. That’s what it is in a nutshell. The quicker we’re open, the clearer the picture, the sooner the ball is going to come out. If we don’t have anybody open, who is the quarterback going to throw it to? It’s timing, decision making, execution by the entire offensive team. That’s what the passing game is.
"The receivers have got to get open and catch the ball. The quarterback’s got to read the coverage, make the right decision and make an accurate throw. All the metric pages and all of that, I mean I have no idea. You’d need to ask that to a smarter coach than me."