Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Sudfeld and the band are what they are at this point.
Dobson, for example, has played 34 NFL snaps. I think we’d all agree that the first 34 minutes, hours and days working in our chosen profession didn’t look that awesome.
Nor did they for Dobson who, by the end of his 34 snaps against the Jets, had already been renamed “Dropson” on the Twitter machine.
Whatever the reason for his drops and blown routes, it doesn’t matter much now. The Patriots don’t have the luxury of burying him on the bench for an apprentice year. It’s up to Dobson to pick it up. And it’s up to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to put Dobson and the rest in position to succeed.
“We’ve got to put our players and our team in position to make plays that they are capable of making,” McDaniels said Tuesday on a conference call. “And if there are things that we are growing and learning how to do, then you have to make some decisions sometimes whether to hold some things . . . ‘When is the right time to go forward? When is the right time to pull back?’ “
The convenient phrase for holding things back would be “dumbing down.” McDaniels made clear the expectations aren’t changing.
“We are certainly going to maintain a very high standard here on offense,” he said. “That’s our goal every week, is to go out there and play good football, not turn it over and score points and be productive in the situational football areas. We need to continue to do that, so whatever that means on a weekly basis, quite often it changes from week to week, that is what we are trying to find.”
What happens between games, McDaniels said, is what determines whether you see a play in games.
“We always rely on practice. If we can execute things in practice and if we can do things well when we work here on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then we certainly have confidence we can do those things on Sunday,” he explained. “There is no other way to do it. To me, the things that maybe we don’t do as well, and again this doesn’t have applications to one position or another, this is just in general, but [if] there is something that we are doing very well, we will continue to do it. If there is something that we’re working on and we’re getting better, but we’re not quite ready to do it on game day (we won’t).”
So, given McDaniels’ explanation, the throw that sent Brady’s head spinning into orbit last week was one that had been correctly executed. One supposes. Or hopes.
“That’s what we go through practice and work hard to do, is to try to give ourselves as many opportunities to do the things we feel comfortable with on a weekly basis. Sometimes that number could be larger, sometimes we can hold it back a bit and try to do more of the same things that we all feel good about doing.”