Despite shaky offensive performances in the Patriots’ first two games, quarterback Tom Brady likes what he sees from his rookie receivers. He also shoulders some of the blame.
“I’m not making all the right plays, either,” he said Monday on his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show.
With new receiver Danny Amendola sidelined by injury and tight end Rob Gronkowski still recovering from surgery, increased scrutiny has fallen on rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson. The duo was targeted 17 times vs. the Jets on Thursday, but only caught five passes.
“It’s not like the rookie receivers are messing up all the time, no, not at all. I’ve really been able to count on those guys. They’ve done an incredible job for what they’ve been asked to do. We’ve got to improve in all aspects of our offense, and that will hopefully remove some of the burden that is falling on the receivers right now,” Brady said.
Brady is also thinking big picture when it comes to having patience as the rookies develop and acclimate to the NFL.
“Hopefully it all pays off for us in November and December when, if we can ever get to a point where we have a lot of our guys back and healthy and playing really well,” he said.
Brady said the Patriots do not have to be the same high-flying scoring machine as years past.
“The thing is, we have to score more than the other team, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be 30 points, it just has to be more than what the other team is scoring, because the team is going to evolve over the course of the season,” Brady said. “So we’re trying to figure out the things that we’re good at, and we haven’t been great at many things over the course of the first two weeks. So what we need to do is find something that we’re good at so we can do it and do it really well, and use it as a means to score points.”
The Patriots return to action Sunday vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom the Patriots practiced with and played a preseason game against.
“It definitely helps in that we’ve had some experience against them, and we kind of know their style a little bit. They know our style, too, so I think just gaining a little experience against them, this is going to be a little different. What we’re going to do against them is probably a little different than what we did against them in the preseason,” Brady said.