FOXBOROUGH -- When Tom Brady looks at the Cincinnati Bengals defense, he sees a lot of first round draft picks with talent.
On Wednesday, as the Patriots put in their first practice ahead of Sunday’s game in Cincinnati, he talked about going up against one of the best defenses in the league. The Bengals currently sport the 13th ranked defense (334.0 yards allowed per game) and hold opponents to a 10th best 20.3 points per game.
“They can rush the quarterback, they got guys at all four spots that rush,” Brady said. “And then when they bring the backups in, those guys rush. So it’s really unique in that pretty much whoever is in there can get an edge on a guy, can get to the quarterback, force the ball out quickly and then with [Terrence] Newman, [Adam Jones], Leon [Hall], Reggie Nelson, I mean they got first round draft picks everywhere. And [Rey] Maualuga, and [Vontaze] Burfict, and [James] Harrison. They’re loaded. That’s why they have one of the best defenses in the league. So there’s really no easy yards out there. They’ve been in some tight games this year, they pulled them out, especially the ones at home. They’re 2-0 at home.
“They play well. They’re good. I know the guys on defense really respect their offense and what they’re able to do, they’re explosive. We have to do our part as an offense to try and keep their offense off the field as well going to go score points.”
Brady also spoke of receiver Julian Edelman, who is tied for the league-lead in receptions with 34. He praised him, and gave him some good-natured ribbing, for taking advantage of his opportunities in his fifth season with the Patriots after converting from a college quarterback at Kent State to receiver.
“He and I have spent a lot of time together over the years and I’m glad it’s really paying off,” Brady said. “He had a great opportunity to take advantage of and he’s done it. It’s a credit to him and his work ethic, his mental toughness.
“To play college quarterback -- I’d love to see those tapes of him running around, because he’s kind of spaz, I don’t know if you guys know that. I always say, ‘God, what were you like in the huddle as a quarterback? How could like anyone look at you seriously?’ But I guess he did pretty good. He definitely can’t throw the ball. So he made the right switch to receiver at the right time.
“But he’s been great. Very hard worker, he’s dedicated. Nobody works harder than Julian. It’s hard when you’re playing behind Wes [Welker] for all these years. You’re just not going to get a lot opportunity because Wes was such a great player. He was durable. And Jules never got a chance. Now he’s got it and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down at all.”