Many teams across the NFL will be working out the kinks in September, and the Patriots figure to be no different.
At least on offense.
There‚Äôs always some unpredictability in training camp, but this year saw three of Tom Brady‚Äės top targets ‚Äď Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon¬†and Demaryius Thomas ‚Äď 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 ‚Äúvery limited‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs understandable.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs one thing to predict how it‚Äôs going to go, it‚Äôs another to go out there and do it,‚ÄĚ Brady said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre 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‚Äôre not a finished product. We won‚Äôt be that way for a long time. But we‚Äôre going to try to build every single day an opportunity that we have to get better and communicate.‚ÄĚ
Asked if the coaching staff can call certain plays to ‚Äúmimic the continuity‚ÄĚ that Brady is seeking, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, ‚ÄúI wish we could just wave a wand and all of that would happen, but unfortunately I don‚Äôt really see how that would happen.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôll have to do whatever everyone that‚Äôs 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. I don‚Äôt know how to create that by just, like I said, wishing it or talking about it. At some point you‚Äôve got to be able to go out there and be able to execute it. We‚Äôve done some of it. We‚Äôll do more. We‚Äôll continue to do more and we‚Äôll see where we‚Äôre at.‚ÄĚ
There could be an adjustment period for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, as well.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre continuing to work with some of the guys that have come off different lists,‚ÄĚ McDaniels said. ‚ÄúBut there‚Äôs no excuses for that. It‚Äôs our job to find what we do well now, and it‚Äôs also our job to improve upon that group of things as we move forward. We‚Äôre excited about Sunday. We have a really, really tough task in the Pittsburgh defense ahead of us. We have things we have confidence in, and those are the things we‚Äôre going to do.‚ÄĚ
Could the Patriots have received something in a trade for quarterback Brian Hoyer?
Belichick isn‚Äôt too worried about the decision to release Hoyer rather than trade him.
‚ÄúI think there‚Äôs a lot of things involved with that situation,‚ÄĚ Belichick said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôd be a longer conversation. We did what we did. We‚Äôll stand by that.‚ÄĚ
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: Pats legend Troy Brown was a consistent presence at training camp.
He often assisted wide receivers coach Joe Judge.
‚ÄúHe has a wealth of information and knowledge and wisdom that he shares with the players,‚ÄĚ McDaniels said of Brown. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs 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‚Äôm really happy to have him.
‚ÄúHe was such a great influence on our team when he was a player, and he‚Äôs extended that now as he‚Äôs starting his career in this crazy profession called coaching.‚ÄĚ
While Brown is not officially on the Pats coaching staff, he could remain around the team for the foreseeable future.
‚ÄúHe has a lot of great messages, he has a lot of good experience,‚ÄĚ Belichick said. ‚ÄúTroy‚Äôs always been a smart, hard-working guy that puts the team first, will do whatever he can to help. I‚Äôm sure going forward he‚Äôll help us in any way he can. We‚Äôll see exactly what that amounts to. I‚Äôm not sure at this point.‚ÄĚ
Women‚Äôs soccer star Carli Lloyd has publicly acknowledged she‚Äôs considering a leap to the NFL.
Lloyd, who booted a 55-yard field goal during a joint practice between the Eagles and Ravens, would become the first female player in league history.
And she already has Brady‚Äôs support.
‚ÄúIf you‚Äôre good enough to do it, and teams want to explore that, everyone should have an opportunity,‚ÄĚ Brady said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a highly competitive game. It‚Äôs hard to find good players. It‚Äôs hard to find good quarterbacks, it‚Äôs hard to find good coaches, it‚Äôs hard to find good linebackers, it‚Äôs certainly hard to find good kickers. In a lot of ways, it‚Äôs survival of the fittest. It‚Äôs an archaic way. Football is a very difficult sport.
‚ÄúBecause of the limited roster size, you do give everyone a chance to earn the right to make the team. It‚Äôs a challenging camp. It‚Äôs a challenging offseason, and then the coach decides, the owner decides, the general manager decides who makes it and who doesn‚Äôt. Everyone‚Äôs trying to win games. I believe the owners try to put the best people on the field in order to give their teams the best chance to win.‚ÄĚ
Lloyd recently told the NFL Network that two teams had contacted her about kicking in a preseason game.
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, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether that‚Äôs the NBA, MLB or NFL. It‚Äôs just time.‚ÄĚ
Brady seems to have interest in the NFL allowing the use of CBD oil, as well. It‚Äôs currently on the list of banned substances.
‚ÄúI think they should explore it and do what‚Äôs best for the players,‚ÄĚ Brady said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve kind of felt that about a lot of different things. There‚Äôs a lot that goes into those decisions. They‚Äôre collectively bargained. I know they‚Äôre collectively bargaining a lot of those things. We‚Äôll see how it shakes out.‚ÄĚ