With Tom Brady still suspended for a week, his backup Jimmy Garoppolo nursing a shoulder injury, and his backup Jacoby Brissett nursing a thumb injury, the New England Patriots find themselves at a bit of a quarterback impasse. Who will, who can start at quarterback for this team in Week Four? Julian Edelman is a popular choice; he played quarterback in his college days, and certainly has a superior knowledge of the Patriots’ playbook. If nothing else, the sight of Edelman lined up under center would be an amusing one. There is however, a better option. It retains Edelman as a weapon in the passing game, and all but ensures a New England victory. This Sunday, the New England Patriots should start a trampoline at quarterback.
Sure, maybe there are options that seem “more logical.” For example, maybe Garoppolo or Brissett, players who have proven themselves, can actually be ready to go by Sunday. Likewise, players such as T.J. Yates, or hell, Vinny Testaverde, are out there, just waiting for their chance to be a fill-in quarterback again. But, the trampoline option is the only one that truly makes sense. To play Garoppolo or Brissett when they are already injured puts them (and their careers as future Patriots trade chips that end up not working out for other teams) at unnecessary, further risk. A trampoline does not feel, and thus cannot be injured. Signing someone like a Yates (or Testaverde) would mean the Patriots would have to cut a current member of their 53-man roster. Their 53-man roster. Well now, a trampoline is not a man, is it? So, no roster cuts would need to be made! This is just the kind of loophole Bill Belichick loves to exploit to gain an upper hand on opponents. Plus, if there’s anyone who can turn a trampoline into a successful quarterback, it’s a warlock like Bill Belichick.
Yes, Bill Belichick is probably a warlock, which is something I say out of grudging respect, and not to make a joke at his expense. The man clearly chants his incantations every night before bed, because look at the mystical results he is able to achieve. No doubt he has Drew Bledsoe’s shrunken head tucked somewhere in that hoodie of his. Belichick got an 11-5 season out of Matt Cassel, who otherwise has proven (for the most part) to be a below average NFL quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo kind of looked on his way to greatness, and a life free from being referred to as “Janeane Garofalo,” until his shoulder injury. Jacoby Brissett looked, at the least, good in his one start prior to injuring his thumb. Lest we forget too that Belichick turned this into one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.
Clearly, the Patriots’ offense is so superiorly engineered that even a non-sentient object having a football hiked off its springy canvas surface can succeed in it. There is also this: a trampoline won’t break from the system, try to force a ball into triple coverage, or scramble for yards where there are none. Trampolines are only made to do one thing: make things go places they never could before. Don’t the Patriots want to go places they never could before?
Now, certainly there are some issues. New England will have to run a lot of their plays, maybe all of them, out of the shotgun. This would be the only way to allow for the ball to gain enough momentum before it ricochets off the trampoline. A quick remedy to this would be to shift Rob Gronkowski over to center. Gronkowski is as close as you can get to being a professional at spiking the ball, and a hike in the shotgun formation is basically a spike between your legs. He should have zero problems adjusting and helping the football catapult downfield.
If the offense needs to balance things, to call a few running plays, they can just do some direct snaps. Not only does the direct snap seem to confuse defenses more often than not, but it also opens up many possibilities of who can carry the ball. Legarrette Blount, Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich, some random sixth string fullback that will rush for three touchdowns and never be heard from again. Mix it up! Make it so the defense never knows what is coming! There are so many possibilities, this might actually work.
Please, New England Patriots, start a trampoline at quarterback. Even if everything outlined above is way off base, and the experiment completely fails, who cares? You guys are going to be just fine once Brady comes back the next game. Is the risk of losing one game because you started a trampoline at quarterback, not worth the reward of beating a team with a god damn trampoline at quarterback?