New Patriots wide receiver David Terrell hopes that stability equals a better opportunity.
After playing with six different starting quarterbacks in the last two years and what he said was nine different passers during his four-year career in Chicago, Terrell is looking forward to once again catching passes from Tom Brady, with whom he had success for two seasons at the University of Michigan before Brady went pro in 2000.
"He's been the only stable quarterback I've had," Terrell said in a Thursday conference call. "Any time a guy like Tom shows an interest in you, you have to think and it wasn't a hard choice for me [to come to New England].
"I was looking for a stable situation. They have a winning attitude and you get that feeling when you come through the door."
Terrell, 26, was the eighth pick in the 2001 draft and played in a Bears offense that seemed to be in constant flux throughout his four years in Chicago. In 53 games and 30 starts, the 6-3, 212-pound Terrell caught 128 passes for 1,602 yards and only nine touchdowns. But constant change at quarterback either because of injury or ineffectiveness stunted the Bears offense and perhaps Terrell to some extent. Frustration resulted.
"It was what it was," Terrell said. "At the time I didn't get caught up in it, I just tried to deal with it, and it was frustrating at times but it was the hand that I was dealt. I'm loving the situation here now more than ever. It gives me a chance to showcase myself."
It may do that to a certain extent, but the Patriots offense operates under a share-the-wealth mentality and when all his targets are healthy, Brady has plenty from which to choose and often spreads the ball around relatively evenly. The Patriots leading receivers the last two years caught 56 and 57 passes in 2003 and 2004 respectively. But Terrell does give New England a bigger wide receiver with talent, an element that has been missing from the offense even during the championship era covering the last four years.
"He's a guy that had good talent coming out in the draft," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said. "He's had some production the last couple of years. Chicago has had some turnover in terms of the coordinator, the quarterbacks and their whole offensive situation. He's been productive and brings some size to the group and we'll see what he can do in the system."
It's a system that Terrell hopes will give him a better opportunity to prove that he was worth the eighth overall pick in the draft, something he did not do with the Bears when he was inconsistent and missed a significant chunk of time in 2002 with a broken foot, the product of a pre-existing condition that made him somewhat of a temporary health risk coming out of Michigan.
"Just being here, I'm a better player," Terrell said. "It's a totally different feeling. I feel like a rookie starting all over with a great organization, great coaches and a great opportunity and we'll just seize the moment.
"This is a great team with great leadership. Tom is a great quarterback. It'll be a lot of fun. I've always wanted to win and I've always been a winner. The Patriots have shown over the past four years that they are a winning team and they win together as a team. Coach Belichick is the captain of this boat and I'm just a new mate so I'm just going to do my job and do it well. So it's a great situation for me to learn from a group of guys and to be a part of something that not a lot of guys get a chance to be a part of."
In Terrell, the Patriots get a top 10 draft pick type of talent motivated to prove he can play to that level while on a one-year deal that he surely hopes will make him a sought after unrestricted free agent next spring.
"I'm a tough, hard-nosed [player]. I'm good across the middle, can catch the deep ball and do everything that a receiver wants to do from blocking to catching to getting more involved in the red zone and scoring touchdowns," Terrell said. "I'm just coming in here to play my role and play it well."
If he does that to his potential, the Patriots will once again have a deep receiving corps and a dynamic offense capable of playing any style.
Click here to listen to the entire David Terrell conference call.