The wide receiver position has been under near-constant change this season. From Demaryius Thomas to Antonio Brown to Josh Gordon and the three rookies, Tom Brady has put plenty of time in getting on the same page as his targets.
"You've just got to adjust the best you can," said Brady on Friday of the turnover. "That's just the way it’s been this year. So, sometimes it's like that at other positions, this year it’s been that way at receiver. It's been that way at o-line some years, running back some years. But, we're just doing the best we can to try to make it work. So, I think we're trying to do is just improve. Every week, try to get a little bit better and understand each other a little bit more. But, it's good to win in the meantime."
With just their third 7-0 start in team history, the Patriots have made it work, thanks in great deal to the stability of Brady, Julian Edelman and James White, along with a defense that is on a historic pace.
Now, Mohamed Sanu is the latest new weapon to jump feet first into learning the Patriots system and earning Brady's trust. So far, the quarterback has liked what he's seen through two practices.
"It's been a good week, been a good week," said Brady. "It's been fun to get to know him. I've watched him for a long time, and always impressed by his abilities, his attitude. It's just been great to have him out there, so hopefully we'll get him up-to-speed as fast as possible."
Sanu was enthusiastic in the locker room about the chance to work with Brady and so far felt good about the progress they had made.
"It's been great," said the receiver while speaking to the media from his locker next to Brady's for the first time as a Patriot. "We've been spending a lot of time together when we've got free time, just getting on the same page, seeing things how he sees them. It's coming along well."
Bill Belichick appreciated the hard work the new acquisition had put in on a short week after arriving in Foxboro.
"Smart kid, picks things up well," said Belichick. "We'll see what we can do here. Sometimes as it accumulates – early downs, third down, red area, situational stuff. We'll see what the load looks like, but he's made good progress both days. Works hard. Good kid. Is really in-tune and trying very hard to pick up things quickly and get on the same page as everybody else. That's obviously a long way to go, a lot of work to do, but he's working hard at it, so we appreciate that."
Sanu's fit and ability to play in the slot should be a huge boost to the Patriots offense. Between Edelman, Ben Watson and now Sanu, the Patriots now have three good options for Brady to target in the middle of the field.
What does Brady like most about Sanu so far?
"I think it's his willingness to embrace this opportunity," said Brady. He brings a lot of juice, so it's good to have. It's good to see someone that's competitive. If you watch him play, he plays with an attitude. He's got a little chip on his shoulder, too, so I think we can relate to each other. And he can relate to a guy like Julian [Edelman], because he was often overlooked in his career, and I think he plays that way."
When asked about what kind of "juice" he brings, Sanu smiled.
"I feel like I bring the juice... and the squeeze."
Practice & Injury Report
Matt LaCosse was the only Patriot not present at the stretching portion of Friday's practice, and both he and Ryan Izzo were ruled out for the game against the Browns.
The full Friday report included:
TE Ryan Izzo, Concussion (DNP)
TE Matt LaCosse, Knee (DNP)
No Players Listed.
RB Rex Burkhead, Foot (LP)
S Patrick Chung, Heel/Chest (LP)
WR Julian Edelman, Chest (LP)
G Shaq Mason, Ankle (LP)
WR Gunner Olszewski, Ankle/Hamstring (LP)
Locker Room Sound Bites
Justin Bethel on getting a chance to work to be teammates with Matthew Slater, who called Bethel one of the best players at their position in the last decade.
"It's definitely an honor to hear that. I can say the same thing about him. We've both been at the top of our position and we've both done a lot of things that you can look at like 'oh let me try to take this, he does this, let me try to take this.' So to be able to be on the same team and see it up front, I was actually watching something that he was doing today and said 'you know let me take that.' To be on the same team was something that me and him thought would probably never happen. I was just excited to be in the AFC with him when I was with the Ravens. When I got here I was talking to him 'what are the chances of us being on the same team?' So it's exciting to finally get here with him and work hand to hand."