FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez has been one of Tom Brady's most consistent receivers throughout camp. He has caught every catchable pass, and he's added a few spectacular grabs for good measure.
Even though Brady's overloaded with talented receiving options, he's often looked the way of his smaller, quicker tight end. During one stretch on Wednesday, Brady found Hernandez on four straight passes, the last one resulting in a touchdown.
Despite his training camp success, Hernandez knows his connection with Brady is still a work in progress.
"I'd say we're still at the beginning," he said. "We gotta keep getting our timing down, and he's gotta start reading me, and I gotta read him and know what he wants. He has to know what he wants me to do and stuff like that. But we keep improving everyday and we're gonna get on point and we're gonna come out this season firing."
Hernandez has been used a lot. He's been in at tight end, in the slot and split out wide, but he says he's feeling good. Why? Because he doesn't have to go through the rigors of double sessions.
"With all them new rules, I love it," he said. "It's saving me. Two practices beats up on your body. Bill Belichick regardless is gonna find a way to beat up on us, so regardless we're gonna be tired."
But he hasn't looked it. For the last two days, he's shared the stage with two of the best tight ends in the league: Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. While both of those players have been solid, Hernandez has found the ball in his hands more consistently than either of his counterparts. During 11-on-11 work, six of Brady's 10 completions ended up in Hernandez's hands.
Hernandez was asked to compare himself to Gronkowski and Graham after their second joint practice.
"Good player, obviously," he said of Graham. "The whole league knows about him, and that's about it. We're all good players, we're all different and all got different qualities, but I say, it is what it is.
"I say we're different players and we do different things. Graham and Gronk are similar in their playing type and I have a different type of way I approach defenders and approach the game. I think we all have different qualities that are real good."
Hernandez's quickness, sure hands and precise route-running have all been on display during camp, and as a result he has been one of Brady's most active targets.