In a statement released on social media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady made his official announcement that he will be leaving the game.

Tom Brady’s Backups Through The Years Have Not Been Too Busy

TAMPA, FL. – The saying about the backup quarterback being the most popular guy in town?

Well, when you’re behind Tom Brady the backup quarterback might be the most anonymous guy in town.

At least Blaine Gabbert, in his third season with the Buccaneers and second backing up Brady, attempted 16 passes (two TDs) last year. That is more than many backups attempted during Brady’s time in New England.

After getting into one game (1-for-3, 7 yards) as a rookie in 2000, Brady opened the 2001 season as the primary backup to Drew Bledsoe. That changed early in the Patriots second game when Bledsoe was leveled by Jets linebacker Mo Lewis. With Bledsoe injured, Bill Belichick, then in his second year in New England, summoned Brady.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady, Courtesy Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The rest, as they say, is history and Brady has since made plenty of it.

So, during this week in which Brady returns to Foxboro, let’s take a look at who his backups were during his time as the Pats’ starter.

2001: Damon Huard, Drew Bledsoe
Until Bledsoe returned from his injuries resulting from the Lewis hit, including a collapsed lung, Huard served as Brady’s backup. Huard, in his fourth season in the NFL at that point, and first with New England, did not get into a game. For that matter, Bledsoe did not see any action until the AFC Championship game against Pittsburgh when he replaced an injured Brady, who returned to lead the Pats to a Super Bowl win over the Rams.

2002-2003: Damon Huard, Rohan Davey
With Bledsoe having signed with Buffalo, Huard and Davey were the backups in 2002 and 2003. The former did not attempt a pass in four games over the course of both seasons while the latter was 4-for-9 for 34 yards in three games.

2004: Rohan Davey, Jim Miller
With Huard off to Kansas City, where he started 21 games over three seasons, Davey became the primary backup. He was 4-for-10 for 54 yards in four games. While he hooked up with the Cardinals in 2005, those 10 attempts were his last in the NFL. Miller was also on the team, though he did not see game action.

2005: Doug Flutie, Matt Cassel
Forty-three-year-old Flutie and 23-year-old rookie Cassel were the backups. Flutie, who was with the Patriots 1987-1989, got into five games and was 5-for-10 for 29 yards. Cassel, a backup at USC and a seventh-round selection of the Patriots, threw two TDs in the final game of the season against Miami. With the playoffs looming, Brady was removed after one quarter.

2006: Matt Cassel, Vinny Testaverde
Another 43-year-old backup came on board in Testaverde, who was only 10 years younger than the combined age of Brady and Cassel. Testaverde completed two passes (one TD) and Cassel was 5-for-8 for 32 yards.

2007: Matt Cassel, Matt Gutierrez
Cassel (4-for-7, 1 INT) was joined by Gutierrez, who was an undrafted rookie out of Idaho State. Gutierrez arrived in Ann Arbor three years after his fellow Californian, Brady, departed. Thanks in part to injuries, Gutierrez attempted only 10 passes in three seasons before transferring. In the NFL, he threw one pass with the Pats in 2007 and one for the Chiefs in 2009, completing both.

2008: Matt Cassel, Kevin O’Connell
After Brady tore his ACL in the season opener against Kansas City, Cassel took over as the starter and threw for 3,693 yards and 21 TDs. He parlayed that performance into a six-year, $63-million deal with, ironically, the Chiefs. O’Connell, the Pats’ third-round pick out of San Diego State, was Cassel’s backup. He was 4-for-6 for 23 yards in the only game action of his NFL career.

2009-2010: Brian Hoyer
The Patriots, who waived O’Connell during the 2009 preseason, signed Hoyer as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State that spring and he became Brady’s backup for three seasons during his first stint with New England. In those three years, he was 27-for-43 for 286 yards with a TD and a pick.

2011: Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett
Mallett started his collegiate career at Michigan before transferring to and flourishing at Arkansas. A third-round pick in 2011, the 6-foot-6 Mallett did not see game action.

2012-2013: Ryan Mallett
Mallett spent three years with the Pats, though his only action was in 2012 when he attempted four passes. His lone completion in a New England uniform was in a blowout win over the Rams in London. During the 2013 preseason, he beat out Tim Tebow to remain Brady’s backup for one more season.

Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy Garoppolo, Courtesy of the New England Patriots/David Silverman

2014-2015: Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo, who broke many of Tony Romo’s records at Eastern Illinois and was the 2013 winner of the Walter Payton Award, given to the most outstanding player in the Football Championship Subdivision, was selected in the second round, 62nd overall. He spent three-plus seasons as Brady’s primary backup and completed 63-of-94 passes (67 percent) for 690 yards, five touchdowns and nary a pick during his tenure with the team.

2016: Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett
With Brady suspended (Deflategate) for the first four games of the season, Garoppolo stepped in and threw for 496 yards and four TDs in wins over the Cardinals and Dolphins. However, he was injured against Miami. That resulted in Brissett starting the next two games in which he threw for 308 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in a win over the Texans and a loss to the Bills.

2017: Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer
Garoppolo was with New England during the season’s first two months but did not attempt a pass before being traded on Halloween to the 49ers in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick. Hoyer returned to New England when he signed the following day and after being released by San Francisco. He threw for 42 yards on the season.

2018: Brian Hoyer
Hoyer had backup duties to himself and attempted only two passes, completing one for seven yards.

2019: Jarrett Stidham
Hoyer was released at the end of the preseason with Stidham, a fourth-round pick out of Auburn, taking over as the No. 2. Stidham, who began his collegiate career at Baylor, completed 2-of-4 passes for 14 yards and a pick. (Hoyer would return yet again in 2020 as a backup to Cam Newton.)

Support journalism by clicking here to our GoFundMe or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. It’s Free And Coming To Apple Users Soon.


Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *