Watching Brady at work brings Pats together

Watching Brady at work brings Pats together
August 7, 2013, 8:15 pm
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PHILADELPHIA – Road trip! Few things bring people together than the feeling of being united as a group away from home. That dynamic was at play Wednesday in the Patriots second practice with the Eagles at the NovaCare Complex.
 
With Tom Brady orchestrating a two-minute, hurry-up drive against the Eagles first defense, the Patriots sideline – filled with the 70 or so players not taking part in the drive – was up and cheering them on. On throw after throw, Brady was finding Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins – three rookies – as the Patriots marched downfield.
 
When the drive ended with New England having had its way with the Philly defense, the Patriots’ sideline surged forward and slapped the helmets of players such as Dobson and Boyce as they left the field.
 
“I think that’s one of the unique things about this place,” said Patriots special teams ace Matt Slater. “We get along so well. Everybody is pulling for the guy next to him and we’re really in this together. With all that we’ve been through over the years, we’ve lerned to come together and bring new guys under our wing and play together. It starts with the leadership. Guys like Vince [Wilfork] and Jerod [Mayo] on defense, Tom [Brady] and Logan [Mankins] on offense and they set that tone and Coach Belichick sets that tone. If we don’t have that mentality, we’re not gonna go very far.”
 
One of the most vocal Patriots on the sideline was Aqib Talib, who was up exhorting the rookies he duels with in practice when the Patriots are home at Gillette.  
 
“It’s fun, man. It’s the NFL, man,” said Talib. “Watching Tom Brady throw bombs and watching the young receivers make plays on the ball, AD and KT, man, it’s fun. They get the crowd into it. I’m a fan on the sideline watching Tom Brady. I’m a fan like everyone else.”
 
For his part, Logan Mankins couldn’t hear much over his own breathing as the Patriots pace was fast and furious.
 
“Noise on our side? No. I couldn’t hear any of it. I was breathing too hard,” he said. "We were good for about the first 7 or 8 of the no-huddle drive but after that, you’re breathing pretty hard an O-lineman. I’m just listening to Tom to call the play.”
 
Coming into this week, the Patriots faced a lot of questions about how their revamped offense would perform.
 
What we’re seeing is not the final answer from their young receivers. But it’s progress.
 
“I’m happy to see as we progress and get better and work on the small things that we work on that we’re getting better as a team,” said defensive end Rob Ninkovich.
 
What was interesting about the eruption was that it was really centered around the performance of the young receivers. Slater agreed.
 
“The thing about these kids is they’re so easy to root for because they’ve come in and tried to do everything the right way,” he said. “They’ve been humble and worked hard and gone about their business and they’re learning how to be Patriots and how to be pros. We’re happy to have them.”