Gasper: To win, it can't be all Brady

972491.jpg

Gasper: To win, it can't be all Brady

Chris Gasper joins Felger & Mazz and says if the Patriots want to win another Super Bowl, they won't be able to do it with their current makeup, which puts too much pressure on Tom Brady.

Gasper also throws some interesting trivia. How many playoff touchdowns did Brady throw in his first Super Bowl-winning season? We'll cue up the music while you think it over... Ready?

One.

In fact, the first time he threw multiple touchdowns in a playoff game was in the Super Bowl against the Panthers (he threw three).

What does that tell us?

That the Patriots should play the Panthers more often? Possible, but not what we're going for.

Gasper says it should tell us that when the Patriots were winning Super Bowls, it wasn't all on the shoulders on Brady.

"Until they get the running game to a point where they can use it, and it's reliable in the playoffs, and when teams go to the nickel they can contend with that, and they get to a point where the defense can come up and make stops, I don't think it matters what Brady does."

For more on this debate, check out the video above.

Belichick impressed by rookie Thuney's work at left guard

patriots-belichick_2.jpg

Belichick impressed by rookie Thuney's work at left guard

FOXBORO -- Joe Thuney may not have won the starting left guard job officially, but Bill Belichick says he's on the right track. And for a rookie, that's feat in and of itself.

The third-round pick out of North Carolina State -- you may remember it as the Kevin-Faulk-in-the-No.-12-jersey selection -- has been the first-team left guard since the start of training camp, and he hasn't moved since. Thuney has occasionally taken snaps at center, and the Patriots have him learning multiple spots behind the scenes. But every time Nate Solder has run on to the field as the left tackle, Thuney has been there by his side at guard. 

Even going back to OTAs, held not long after he was drafted, Thuney was the top choice at that position. 

"Joe has done a good job with what we’ve given him," Belichick said. "There was a point where we felt comfortable making that, I’d say temporary move, It wasn’t permanent. But he has handled it well. I think he’s certainly moving towards being able to lock something down at some point. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think he is certainly gaining on it. He has had a good preseason, had a good spring."

What once may have been deemed a temporary move back in the spring -- perhaps due to players like Shaq Mason, Tre' Jackson and Josh Kline dealing with injuries early in the offseason -- now seems like it should be a permanent one.

Thuney's run as the No. 1 left guard has been uninterrupted because his performance hasn't warranted a change. He's held his own against former first-round defensive tackle Malcom Brown in one-on-one practice drills, and he's been the highest-graded player on the Patriots offensive line through two preseason games, per Pro Football Focus. (The only players with higher grades on the team through two games are tight end AJ Derby and defensive end Trey Flowers.)

The man who went viral before the draft for his ability to solve a Rubik's cube in just over a minute has flashed an understanding of how quickly things move on the inside. Plus, playing under unretired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, Thuney has been quick himself, both picking up pressures and working to the second level in the running game with aplomb.

Thuney will still have a preseason game or two to solidify his grasp on a starting role, but even for the brief period during which Mason and Kline were simultaneously healthy, Thuney was the choice on the left side of the interior offensive line. Now that Mason is dealing with what's been reported as a hand injury, Jackson remains on PUP, and Jonathan Cooper is still out after suffering a foot injury early in camp, the job seems like Thuney's to lose.

That Belichick even hinted Thuney is "gaining on it" is an indication of just how impressive he's been during his short time as a pro.