It appears Brady can still bring the heat, contrary to the belief of Kellerman, who predicted on ESPN in July 2016 that Brady's play would "fall off a cliff," and that the veteran QB would be a "bum in short order."
To state the obvious, Brady has not become a "bum;" in fact, he's led the Patriots to Super Bowls in two of the three seasons since Kellerman's prediction and literally was named the NFL's best player (MVP) in 2017.
But even after making Kellerman eat his words on several occasions, the 41-year-old is using that take (and the haters in general) as motivation entering his 20th NFL season.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is a soft-spoken person who often lets his on-field performance do the talking.
Gilmore was the only cornerback to earn an "elite" grade from Pro Football Focus last season, and he's off to another excellent start in 2019. His best game of the season so far was last Thursday night's win over the New York Giants. Gilmore was targeted six times and intercepted or broke up five of those passes.
The 28-year-old's play since the start of the 2018 campaign has earned him the label of the NFL's best cornerback from teammates, fans and many in the media. Gilmore typically isn't one to give himself that kind of praise, but he did explain why he's the league's best cornerback during an episode of Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy's YouTube show called "Elite Eats."
Van Noy: "Since you don't ever say you're the best corner in the league, would you say it on my show?"
Gilmore: "Yeah, I'll say that. Listen, I'm going to say this. I'm going to say it. A lot of guys say they're the best corner, but I feel like my job is harder each and every week because I have (the No. 1 wide receiver on the opposing team) everywhere he goes. I go to the slot. I go outside. I'm not bailing. I'm not scared. I'm in their face every snap. So, that proves my point. A lot of guys don't do that."
Gilmore has tallied two interceptions and eight passes defensed through the first six games of the season. Opposing quarterbacks have an awful 48.3 passer rating when targeting Gilmore in 2019.
The Patriots will play the rival New York Jets for the second time this season Monday night at MetLife Stadium. Gilmore likely will match up against Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who failed to capitalize against the Patriots cornerback in Week 3, finishing with three receptions for 11 yards overall.
That bit of roster maneuvering worked out in the Patriots' and Watson's favor. Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse were healthy at the time of Watson's initial release, but the Patriots had a need for the tight end after both players got hurt last Thursday against the New York Giants.