Brady Still Working On Perfecting His Game

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is having a tougher time in camp than he would like. Actually, it's been rather frustrating for the three-time Super Bowl winner. In spite of having an improved calibre of talent surrounding him, Brady is pushing hard to iron out the wrinkles that he feels shouldn't be there.

Tom Brady turned 28 on Aug. 3 and is entering his sixth season and fifth as the Patriots' starter. Back in June, he said that this season would be his most challenging yet and the main reason for that is the pressure he puts on himself to improve and perform consistently well. When you've quarterbacked a team to three Super Bowl titles including the last two, it's a big challenge finding room for improvement.

He spent his offseason trying polishing his throwing mechanics to make them more efficient and to get the ball out quicker. Considering that one of his strengths is getting rid of the ball quickly and frustrating pass rushers in the process, Brady might be shooting for the moon.

But he doesn't look at it that way, especially after he threw a pair of two-minute drill interceptions to Tyrone Poole last week in practice and looked shaky on some other throws as well. He simply says he's trying to improve, and his frustration during the early stages of training camp has been obvious to onlookers.

"I think as a team we have been very inconsistent," Brady said, "and I think the quarterback position has been very inconsistent. That starts with me. I'm missing some open receivers down the field. I would like to think I could hit some of those. I end up with a few sleepless nights in there."

Sleepless nights because of some training camp practice inconsistency? Surely that's an exaggeration.

"No. I do think that I become very frustrated. I always think the more pressure you put on yourself in practice, that's the way it goes on the field. If you can't execute a two-minute drill in practice, what makes you think you can do it in a game?"

Brady has placed an enormous amount of pressure on himself to see if he can be the first quarterback to lead a team to three straight Super Bowl titles, but he said he feels pressure before every game.

"I don't think anyone always wants to feel pressure," he said. "Before every game (my) stomach turns over. I hate that feeling. But it's every game. And as soon as the first play of the game happens, it's gone."

Brady certainly faces and feels increased pressure this year as a veteran quarterback trying to acclimate himself to a new coordinator. Charlie Weis' departure left Brady without the trusted voice inside his helmet and without his sideline ear. So while he expanded his role in the offense last year, he'll have to assume an even greater amount of pressure to keep things clicking this year, which obviously hasn't happened in camp's early stages.

But if there is a quarterback that can handle the mental workload, it's Brady, who coach Bill Belichick believes can do that as well as any quarterback he's coached.

"I would say between Bernie Kosar and Tom Brady, those two players, mentally, could handle about as much as you could give them," Belichick said. "They can absorb as much, manage as much and have as expansive an offense as you wanted to."

Amazingly, Brady is feeling the additional pressure this season despite having arguably the deepest offensive arsenal of his career. Besides Corey Dillon in the backfield, he has at least three solid wide receivers in Deion Branch, David Givens and David Terrell and arguably the best tight end trio in football with Daniel Graham, Benjamin Watson and Christian Fauria.

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