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Be The GM: Long Vs. BradyAuthored by Andrew Perna - 2nd September, 2009 - 10:18 am
There is no denying the importance of a strong offensive line, but it'll be hard to pass up on one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in today's matchup.
Miami's Jake Long will attempt to upset New England's Tom Brady and earn a berth in the Elite Eight.
How They Got Here
Long earned 76% of the vote in his battle against Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin, while Brady easily defeated Jets rookie Mark Sanchez with 85% of the vote.
Why Long Is A Franchise Player
Long stepped in immediately and provided an upgrade for the Dolphins on the offensive line. He has a nasty streak, which is likely one of the reasons Bill Parcells was drawn to draft him with the first overall pick in 2008.
His speed and agility for a guy of his size are impressive, which helps him fend off defenders with great frequency. There were a number of things that went Miami's way last season, but Long played a huge role in the team's rebound from 1-15 to 11-5 and a playoff berth.
The team's incredible turn around is strong evidence that Long is a very good option as a franchise cornerstone.
Why Brady Is A Franchise Player
There is absolutely no denying Brady's ability. He's coming off major reconstructive knee surgery, but few doubt that he'll come back with a vengeance in 2009. He attempted just 11 passes last season due to the injury he suffered in Week One against the Chiefs, but tossed a record 50 touchdowns in the season prior when the Patriots fell one win shy of a perfect year.
Brady is never listed any lower than second on the list of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but is sometimes put on top (ahead of the infamous Peyton Manning). He's still in his prime at 32, and has less wear on his tires than Manning when you consider the season he missed (2008) and his rookie year (2000) when he threw just three passes.
New England doesn't have much behind him, which leads many to believe that he's close to 100%. Ice water runs through his veins, and he is rather selfless when it comes to winning as well.
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Andrew Perna is Deputy Editor of RealGM.com and co-host of RealGM's Radio Show. Please feel free to contact him with comments or questions via e-mail: Andrew.Perna@RealGM.com