The Patriots quarterback connected on 16 of 18 passes during Thursday’s practice. “Physically I think it’s possible, but mentally the season is a grind”. But throughout the hearing, he also cited several weaknesses in the way the NFL handled the controversy that could become the basis for handing a victory to Brady and his union.
His first preseason game action against Green Bay was hardly awe-inspiring either and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has taken the tough love approach, often chastising the promising youngster.
Belichick did offer a positive response when a reporter asked about the level of play shown by both Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees. National media had the tendency of pointing out how Brees had a “down year” last season, but with nearly 5000 yards the talent is still clearly there.
“I have all the respect in the world for the Saints, their entire organization, Sean, the way they do things”, Belichick said.
By all accounts, the third time that the Saints and Patriots have engaged in a joint practice was a productive one, highlighted by the professionalism of the teams and underscored by the absence of bickering among players.
Anthony, a player who’s having a good camp, got beaten over the middle by a Patriots tight end for a score.
The wide receiver position has produced one of the more competitive races in Saints camp, as a collection of wideouts are contending for the coveted No. 3 spot behind starters Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston.
Brady was once again saddled with an offense that was minus Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson and today was also missing Brian Tyms.
Covering these receivers will be just as much of a story as the receivers themselves.
The emphasis of being better at pressuring the opposing team’s QB has been a focus for the Saints defense this camp. However, Vaccaro slumped badly while playing through a litany of injuries in 2014.
Other individuals to watch include James White, Trey Flowers, and Nate Solder for New England as well as former Patriot Ben Watson and Andrus Peat for New Orleans.
But his success as the Pats’ top corner depends on his ability to bounce back from those imperfect moments. “Not only that but we get a chance to see some players that we weren’t able to see last weekend”.
Seeing time at both the left and right tackle spots, Peat had an up-and-down night in his first NFL outing, and he’ll be working to showcase some progress against New England. “I’m taking it one year at a time”, he said.
With the departures of Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Pierre Thomas, the Saints have a lot of production to replace in the passing game. “We need to get a better pass rush. Only 21 Peat measures in at 6’7” 313 lbs according to NFL.com and has potential just as massive as his size. Some even suggested bringing in more teams if the Saints don’t renew their contract past 2016.
The status of injured players is just as mysterious, although if Thursday’s practice is any guide, there will be widespread absences, especially on defense.