Tom Brady taking challenge of working with new receivers in strides
"There's a lot of moving parts right now,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said after a practice this week. “The tempo's important, the personnel is important, getting the formations right, running the right play, using the right technique. All those things are little things that become big things.”
Brady is throwing to a lot of new faces in training camp, without his top four targets from last season. Receivers Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd left the club this offseason and the Patriots released Aaron Hernandez in June, only a few hours after he was arrested on a murder charge. Another favorite receiving target, Rob Gronkowski is also currently recovering from back surgery. Several young players are in the mix at the receiving spots during camp, with at least seven of them having two or fewer years of NFL experience.
"A challenging part of offense is when you've got new guys and they're not really sure when I'm throwing it, I'm not really sure when they're going to break, and a lot of it we just have to work out,” Brady said. “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.”
With the Patriots installing the all-important situational football – featuring third-down, goal line, red area and two-minute offense scenarios – Brady stressed that it was important they have everyone “on the same page” and to “try to eliminate as many bad plays as possible.”
"It's not really a slow-paced offense; you need to think fast, you've got to communicate well, everyone's got to be on the same page,” said Brady. “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. Guys that have done it well have been smart players: They adjust quickly and football's important (to them),” he continued. “They go home and they study and work at it. That's what it's all about here."
While Brady previously praised the young receivers’ work ethics, their willingness to learn and improve, and the knowledge of the games they have displayed so far in practices; it’s difficult to predict who will be on the field as the players themselves don’t know at this point.”
“A lot of guys are trying to create roles for themselves,” Brady said. “Nothing has been established at this point, we're seven or eight practices in, so I think we're trying to see what people can do on a consistent basis.”
“There is a lot of opportunity,” Brady offered some motivation for the young receivers. “Every time you get a chance to take a rep, you’re trying to do better than you did the previous time.”