FOXBORO — Many teams across the NFL will be working out the kinks in September, and the New England Patriots figure to be no different.At least on offense.
There’s always some unpredictability in training camp, but this year saw three of Tom Brady‘s top targets — Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas — miss nearly the entire month of August.
Brady has a terrific connection with Edelman, of course. No concerns there. As Brady said Tuesday on WEEI, he has some familiarity with Gordon from last season and “very limited” experience with Thomas. The same goes for undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski.
So the passing attack might not be completely in sync when the defending champs take the field on Sunday night against the Steelers. And that’s understandable.
“It’s one thing to predict how it’s going to go, it’s another to go out there and do it,” Brady said. “We’re going to try to put as much work in as we can from now until the end of the season in order for us to be at our best. We’re not a finished product. We won’t be that way for a long time. But we’re going to try to build every single day an opportunity that we have to get better and communicate.”
Asked if the coaching staff can call certain plays to “mimic the continuity” that Brady is seeking, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, “I wish we could just wave a wand and all of that would happen, but unfortunately I don’t really see how that would happen.
“We’ll have to do whatever everyone that’s been here for a number of weeks has been doing, go out there and get the reps together and get our timing and develop that consistency and continuity and confidence on the field.”
There could be an adjustment period for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, as well.
“We’re continuing to work with some of the guys that have come off different lists,” McDaniels said. “But there’s no excuses for that. It’s our job to find what we do well now, and it’s also our job to improve upon that group of things as we move forward. We’re excited about Sunday.”
Could the Patriots have received something in a trade for quarterback Brian Hoyer?
Belichick isn’t too worried about the decision to release Hoyer rather than trade him.
“I think there’s a lot of things involved with that situation,” Belichick said. “That’d be a longer conversation. We did what we did. We’ll stand by that.”
Hoyer signed a three-year deal with the Colts worth $12 million.
As the Patriots dealt with turnover at wide receiver this summer, there was at least one constant: Troy Brown was a consistent presence at training camp.
He often assisted wide receivers coach Joe Judge.
“He has a wealth of information and knowledge and wisdom that he shares with the players,” McDaniels said of Brown. “It’s almost difficult to really say how far that can extend, because he played. He played this game and he played here. He was coached by our staff and our style. So the value he brings is significant. I’m really happy to have him.”
While Brown is not officially on the Pats coaching staff, he could remain around the team for the foreseeable future.
“He has a lot of great messages, he has a lot of good experience,” Belichick said. “Troy’s always been a smart, hard-working guy that puts the team first, will do whatever he can to help.”
Push for CBD
A week ago, Rob Gronkowski announced a partnership with CBDMedic, a company that produces a line of Cannabidiol-based pain-relief medications.
At a press conference in New York, Gronkowski said, “I’m here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether that’s the NBA, MLB or NFL. It’s just time.”
Gronkowski also expressed interest in approaching Brady about a possible working relationship with TB12.
Brady seems to have interest in the NFL allowing the use of CBD oil, as well. It’s currently on the list of banned substances.
“I think they should explore it and do what’s best for the players,” Brady said. “I’ve kind of felt that about a lot of different things. There’s a lot that goes into those decisions. They’re collectively bargained. I know they’re collectively bargaining a lot of those things. We’ll see how it shakes out.”