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Peter King on M&M: Tight ends key to Tom Brady’s success

09.23.11 at 1:33 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined Mut & Merloni Friday at noon for his weekly appearance. King discussed Tom Brady‘s hot start to the season, as well as whether Brady would have had similar success over his career had Drew Bledsoe not gotten injured back in 2001.

“I believe that Brady, whether it be 2002 or 2003, at some point fairly soon, I think that Brady was going to be their guy because I think that Bill Belichick, Charlie Weis, they wanted more of a guy who executed what they told him and didn’t audible as much,” King said. “They thought that would be Tom Brady, and obviously it turned out to be so.”

Brady has put up some massive numbers through the first two weeks of this season, throwing for 940 yards and seven touchdowns in just two games. King said that tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have been key in creating problems for defenses and giving Brady multiple options in the red zone.

“I think what has really helped them the first two weeks is that they basically have come in, and it isn’t just they’ve scored 73 points or Brady’s got these gaudy numbers, but they create such matchup problems right now with Hernandez and Gronkowski,” King said. “It looks to me like the tight ends are really helping Brady, they’ve scored four or five touchdowns already, they’re really helping Brady. It really presents some problems for defenses that are hard for them to solve.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On Devin McCourty: “I think the one thing when I see him play, to me, I think he plays with a lot of confidence. Which he should do because he’s a very good player and he has no fear of any receiver out there. … I think it’s just two games. I think even real good corners are going to get beat and I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. I would just let him play a few more games and I wouldn’t want him to change the way he plays, either.”

On the Bills’ 2-0 start: “The Bills are a fun team to watch and it’s really fun to see a bunch of guys on their team, who nobody’s ever heard of, basically doing things that nobody expected at the start of the year. So I think they’re a fun team to watch and it’s good for football that the rust belt is coming back. The Browns looked good last year, Detroit and Buffalo are 2-0, I just think it’s good for the game.”

On Tony Romo leading Dallas to win with fractured rib last week: “Romo deserved all the criticism he got after the first game, he personally handed the game to the Jets on a silver platter, there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. The game was all his fault, period. But having said that, it doesn’t mean he stinks or he’s no good or he can’t do it anymore. You do have some questions about him late in big games, of course, after you see something like that. The one thing about him that you’ve always known, even though he’s got the goofy grin and the hat on backwards and all that stuff, you’ve always known that he’s a really tough guy.

“I thought his response on ‘Inside the NFL’ this week, the Showtime show, when he was asked about playing in pain, I thought his response was really interesting. One of the reasons why he felt he had to come in is that there was no way they could go to 0-2 in a strong NFC and a really good division, that was a game they absolutely had to have. If you’re running a team in any sport, you want your most important player to feel like, ‘I’m willing to play very, very hurt to help us win the game.’ And he did. That says a lot about him as a guy.”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, Tony Romo
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