Brady on Ochocinco: Things we need to build on

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Brady on Ochocinco: Things we need to build on

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

Tom Brady knows that his connection with Chad Ochocinco isn't where he would like it to be for the start of regular season games, but he says their on-the-field rapport is improving steadily.

"I think every day we're out there together, the two of us, working, and him working with Deion Branch and Wes Welker, it gets better every day," Brady said during his weekly segment with WEEI. "We're very much an abbreviated schedule this year with practices, lack of OTAs organized team activities in the offseason. Every team is at the same point, every team has new players. I'm sure it's more challenging this year than it's been in the past. Our offense, for receivers, is a challenging offense. He's a very competitive person and he wants to be out there learning it, he wants to compete, he wants to understand the nuances of what we're doing. Every single day we're out there it gets better."

Though Ochocinco caught a touchdown pass in last week's preseason game with the Buccaneers, Ochocinco seemed disappointed in himself because he was not as in-sync as he hoped to be with the rest of the offense. For Brady's part, he's had a good time trying to get Ochocinco up to speed.

"I enjoy being on the practice field with him, I enjoy sitting there on the sidelines of the games communicating with him. Being out there on the field with him in the games was a great experience for us. Those are the things we need to build on. ... We're working every day to try to speed up the learning curve, so by the time the regular season starts we're where we need to be."

Brady also hit on what has been one of the Patriots' key talking points, especially since last week's preseason game with the Buccaneers: their attacking defense.

"When you put pressure on the quarterback, that's No. 1," Brady said. "Any time you talk to a defensive coach at the beginning of the week, they say 'We have to get after the quarterback.' It was really fun to see from our sideline. Those guys are really teeing off on the quarterback. I love to see that. From another quarterback's perspective, to stand there on the sidelines and watch them attack the quarterback -- force them into quick decisions, force them into throws that you don't want to make but have to make because you don't have time to see the coverages -- that's good for any defensive football team."

Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice report: Garoppolo, Brissett practice again

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Thursday's Patriots-Bills practice report: Garoppolo, Brissett practice again

FOXBORO -- The Patriots held a walkthrough on the field behind Gillette Stadium one day after both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) tested their arms during the team's practice in full pads n Wednesday.

Both quarterbacks were back on the field, but for the second consecutive day they were limited, according to the injury report. That injury report was, in fact, unchanged from Wednesday's, meaning tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) and linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) were also limited. 

There was one significant alteration to the Bills practice report, however, as tight end Charles Clay (knee) was back on the field Thursday. Receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) remained out. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick described Watkins' explosive abilities in Buffalo's passing game earlier this week. 

"Watkins is big, he is good after the catch, he’s obviously good on the deep balls," Belichick said. "But he is good on catch-and-run plays. He can take those intermediate routes or crossing routes and turn a 10, 15-yard catch into 40. So, a hard guy to tackle, big, fast, very athletic."

If he can't go, the Bills will have to find other ways to try to manufacture yardage. 

Here's Thursday's practice participation report for the Patriots and Bills.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)