Brady working to develop chemistry with new WRs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady celebrated his completion by
throwing his hands into the air and shouting as if it was a
Whoa, calm down.
It was only a pass to newcomer Danny Amendola at minicamp more than a
month before training camp and with no one allowed to hit the
But to Brady, it was a sign that he and his likely top wide receiver
are making progress as he tries to develop chemistry with a new group.
In the offseason, the New England Patriots parted with Wes Welker and
Brandon Lloyd following a season in which they were the team's top two
"Danny has come in and he's been fun to play with," Brady said. "He's
diving out there for catches. He's really done everything that we've
asked him to do."
That excites the two-time NFL most valuable player entering his 14th
season with the Patriots but with just one wide receiver who has ever
caught a pass from him. That's Julian Edelman, who had 21 receptions
last season but missed minicamp with a foot injury.
Brady knows it will take time to develop chemistry with his new
receivers but was excited when Amendola made a catch over the middle
during an 11-on-11 drill on Tuesday, the first day of minicamp.
"It was only one play, and we're trying to stack as many of those up as
we can," Amendola said.
Brady said he had told the receiver what to do.
"The first time he didn't quite get it and the second time he got it a
little more, but not quite. And finally we nailed it," Brady said.
"Hopefully, once you get that feeling of nailing it, you can understand
"I've developed some great chemistry with receivers over the years that
body language is really important — when to (stop), when to move, when
to give me your eyes, when to give me your hands, all those little cues
that you're using to try to anticipate things as players are very
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were quick learners as rookies in
2010 and developed into an excellent tight-end duo. Welker began
playing with Brady in 2007 and their communication and precision were
Amendola, signed as a free agent from the St. Louis Rams, still hasn't
caught a pass from Brady in a game.
"We haven't really had any meaningful action," Brady said. "You learn
the most about players when it's the hardest and training camp is a
good time to develop some of that chemistry and mental toughness as a
team. So the more of those guys we have, the better we're going to be."
One of them could be Michael Jenkins, another free-agent addition after
seven years in Atlanta and the past two in Minnesota. He's averaged 39
catches per season and played with the first team during minicamp. The
final scheduled practice on Thursday was canceled.
With Brady, it's important to be "where you're supposed to be because
he's going to get it there," Jenkins said.
Two rookie draft choices are missing valuable time doing that.
Second-rounder Aaron Dobson and fourth-rounder Josh Boyce have been
"Any player that's not out there is behind," coach Bill Belichick said.
But they can keep up in the meeting room.
"It's really been a fun group," Brady said. "It's been open to learning
and open to understanding how we do things because how we do things is
quite a bit different than how other teams do things, both on the field
and off the field."
There are the highly organized practices, the intricate offensive
system and the intolerance for mistakes.
Bad plays get a lot more attention than good ones.
"Someone is really going to get yelled at on every play," Brady said.
"There's always lowlights when we come in on the next day. Even if it
was a great offensive play, (Belichick's) going to yell at someone on
the defense. We've become a bit used to that now and that's part of the
learning process and also learning how to play for the Patriots."
Belichick couldn't have been upset with Amendola's catch. The
quarterback certainly wasn't and showed the same passion he's displayed
encouraging teammates on the sideline during games.
The foundation built in organized team activities and minicamp carries
over to training camp and sets the stage for the regular season.
"Everything ends up having some significance to it," Brady said.
"You're not just out here running plays and going through different
things that aren't going to mean anything. We're out here trying to get
a lot of things accomplished."
That explains Brady's joy when he and Amendola made their connection.
"Watching Tom and being on the outside, you see that fire. You see him
get amped up in games. That's the type of guy you want to play for,"
"For him to do that in practice, in OTAs (when) we're going against
each other, our own team, and to have that fire and desire to win is
Brady Working On Building Chemistry
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