With the bulk of his pass catchers either gone or on the mend, Brady knew there would be a bit of a transition process as he learned the ins and outs of his new receivers. Friday afternoon's practice in Foxborough was an illustration of some of the growing pains that come with such turnover.
It wasn't that the offense was terrible, or that the new receivers all struggled with their assignments. But from the vantage point of the layman watching from afar, things appeared to be choppy at best. At times Brady was visibly frustrated, holding his head with both hands after an incompletion, leaving everyone to wonder if the quarterback was upset with a poor throw or read, or if any lack of patience with the rookies was starting to seep in.
In any event, there were enough misfires during the practice to lead Bill Belichick to re-run a team period at the end of the session. Normally after
For his part, Brady showed no signs of frustration when dealing with the media following practice.
"There are a lot of new guys. We're making mistakes. We're trying to learn from mistakes," Brady said. "Offensive football is about 11 guys being on the same page and really being able to anticipate what each other are trying to do. A challenging part of offense is when you have new guys and they're not really sure when I'm throwing and I'm not really sure when they're going to break and a lot of it we just have to work out.
"The more reps we get the better we're going to be. Just to come out here every day and make these types of improvements is important. You can't go out and miss three or four days of practice because you just get so far behind, especially at this time of year."
Brady continues working on establishing a rapport with rookies
"You have to throw as much in there as you can," Brady explained. "It's not really a slow-paced offense. You need to think fast, you have to communicate well and everybody has to be on the same page. It's hard to slow down something for one person. The train's moving at this point. It takes really smart football players to be in this system and guys that have done well have been smart players that can adjust quickly. That's what it's all about here."
Players and coaches have been raving about
That's not to say the corner hasn't performed well. To the contrary, through the first week of camp he's been arguably the team's best player. Last season he showed he was capable of locking up on the outside with some of the bigger receivers like Houston's Andre Johnson. What's been even more impressive this summer has been his ability to keep up with smaller, quicker guys like Amendola in the slot.
The two have locked horns often during drills and in team periods in camp and Talib has gotten the better of things more often than not. Belichick was asked about Talib's performance against Amendola but the coach chalked it up as part of any corner's job description.
"Some guys are taller, some guys are shorter, some guys are faster, some guys are quicker, some guys are stronger," he said. "That's one of the advantages of going against Philly and Tampa, is to see some of their players with their skills that are different than ours and see how we match up against them. But over the course of the year, I'm sure we'll see all those kinds of guys, one way or another. It's good to get variety."
No rush to judgment
"He Works hard, hard working kid," Belichick said. "He's got a good attitude, good motor, works real hard. I think he's been competitive."
Play of the Day – Aqib Talib seems to turn in a candidate for inclusion here every day. On Friday it was a terrific cut underneath rookie Josh Boyce in the flat that he turned into a pick-six. Talib timed Tom Brady's underneath throw perfectly, cut in front of Boyce and came away with a one-handed interception. The only problem with the play came when he appeared to injure himself after the runback, but he was back in the lineup quickly.
Boston College hockey coach Jerry York was on hand to watch practice. York is the all-time NCAA leader in victories and has had Belichick speak to his team in the past. … Seven players were unavailable for practice on Friday, led by Dowling and Cunningham. In addition, offensive linemen