FOXBORO - Jabar Gaffney's most productive seasons as a pro were his last three - 54, 65 and 68 receptions in two years with the Broncos and one with the Redskins.
But while they were personally productive, they weren't quite fulfilling, the wideout indicated Thursday at Gillette Stadium.
"You go other places and you realize what you had here in Coach Belichick," said the 31-year-old Gaffney after a Patriots OTA practice. "He's a one of a kind coach and coming back here he reminded me of that real quick. His attention to detail and how he wants perfection and wants you to do your job."
Belichick's attention to detail was evident Thursday when, late in practice, he had the Patriots offense running laps for inefficient work.
"That's the thing, perfection," Gaffney replied when asked what all the running was caused by. "Can't make mistakes. You make mistakes, you're gonna take off and run for it."
Tom Brady's made no secret of his high regard for Gaffney, especially in the last few months.
Asked how the two are getting along now that he's returned, Gaffney said, "We have a great relationship on and off the field. We just have that rapport with each other. He knows where I'm gonna be and I know he's gonna put it right there. He has all the confidence in me and I have all the confidence in him. We picked right back up and started building that relationship up again.
In three years with the Patriots (2006-08) Gaffney only had 85 catches. But his ability as a technician and his dependability were standout traits.
His return - and that of Donte Stallworth and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels - has the Patriots going a little retro.
Gaffney laughed when asked if he still had some gas left in his tank, adding, "I'm ready to go a couple more years."