Young receivers will test Brady's patience

Young receivers will test Brady's patience
September 4, 2013, 7:45 pm
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FOXBORO – Tom Brady slipped a little on Wednesday.
 
After using the word “coaching” while discussing the vibe he gets working with his young receiver corps, Brady caught himself and said, “I’m not a coach, I’m a player,” then continued his point.
 
Why the self-edit? Because it’s a very important distinction in the Patriots social structure. You do your job. If your job is to quarterback, you do not coach. If your job is to own the team, you do not insist on keeping Tim Tebow on the roster. And if your job is to coach, you don’t get into schedule and rules discussions. Life is easier that way.
 
If Tom Brady was in charge of personnel, he probably wouldn’t have three rookie wideouts and a rookie tight end running around as key components of his 2013 offense.
 
But he does. And now that Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Zach Sudfeld will be in prominent roles, it is Brady’s job to make sure they keep up, whether that means using the whip or the carrot.
 
“I’m not the most patient guy to begin with so that’s something that I’m working on,” Brady acknowledged Wednesday. “There’s a learning curve and there’s things that are gonna come up. Some guys haven’t experienced the things that I’ve experienced so you try to talk about what possibly might happen. You say, ‘If it happens, I want you to make this adjustment.’ “
 
“And then it happens and the adjustment’s not made and I say, ‘I told you…’ ” Brady cracked. “It’s what I do to my three-year-old too and he doesn’t listen either.”
 
At the start of training camp, I wrote about the need for Brady to maintain patience with his young receivers.
 
For the most part, he has.
 
“You try to just hang in there,” Brady said when asked of dealing with guys who are still shaking off the college afterbirth. “When you communicate, you determine how good a communicator you are by the feedback that you get. If you re not getting the right feedback [in terms of production] then you communicate more. That’s part of what I’ve tried to do this offseason.”
 
While Brady would love to have the familiarity of a Deion Branch or a Wes Welker when he gets under center and sees a blitz coming, in order for him to progress into his 40s – which he intends – he needs a new crew.
 
And the teaching – while consuming more of his time – is keeping things fresh.
 
“There’s a newness to that,” he agreed. “There’s a newness to the teaching and the learning and the work that we’ve done over  the course of the year. There’s a lot of things I’ve done this year that I haven’t done in the past that’s been new for me in terms of the learning and the meetings and the extra time spent.”
 
So it’s not an encumbrance?
 
“I said to [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels] yesterday, we had a meeting and I was meeting with the receivers. I was holding the clicker and going over [70 or 80 plays] and when you’re holding the clicker it’s great, you just keep teaching. When you’re listening, it’s like, ‘God, when are we done?’
 
“Then you get done when you’ve been holding the clicker and you didn’t think you covered anything,” Brady admitted. “In reality you’ve covered a lot.”
 
Brady is teaching his new receivers using tape of his old teammates. “See how Wes did this? You need to do that.”
 
“A lot of it is me showing them a look and saying, ‘This is what I expect so if we get that look, we’re gonna do it the way I can anticipate,’ he explained. “And the more those things can be covered through past experiences – maybe not their past experience but our Patriots past experience that we can cover in the film room or on the field we can then be better when one of those things happens in Buffalo.”