Brady, Patriots put focus on situations
August, 5, 2012
By Mike Rodak | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With the Patriots set to play in their first preseason game on Thursday, the team shifted its practice focus on Sunday to more situational work, including two-minute and goal-line scenarios.
Quarterback Tom Brady was among several players and coaches whose frustrations could be heard throughout the session.
"Guys are working hard, so we're just trying to get things right. We don't have a lot of time. We have a game here in three days," Brady explained after practice. "We all have to be on the same page, a lot of communication, and it's not always right out here, so we're trying to get it right."
At one point, coach Bill Belichick twice stepped in to point out that there was too few or too many players on the field. On another play, guard Donald Thomas jumped offsides, with Brady letting the lineman hear it as he began his penalty lap.
"There's a quite a bit of time between February and when we start. There's a new group and you're doing new things, and the communication is different. That's why we're practicing. You get out here in this situation, and it's an important situation," Brady said.
Added Brady: "We're working on two-minute and you can't afford mistakes. All 11 of us have to be on the same page. That's why we do two-minute at the end of practice. You're tired, you're drenched in sweat, and that's when your concentration needs to be at its best, because that's when the game is on the line."
The Patriots will practice again on Monday before the New Orleans Saints arrive in town for a single joint practice on Tuesday, followed by a walkthrough on Wednesday. As has been the case, the Patriots will look to make the most of their limited opportunity on the practice field to prep for live game action.
"Our coaches put a lot of emphasis on the walkthroughs and the meeting rooms, and certainly when we get out here on the field we're not expected to make a bunch of mistakes, Brady said. "Because we're only coming out here once a day, we have to bring the intensity and have to get things right."
On offense, the Patriots have struggled to get consistency from their offensive line, which continues to be thinned by injuries, with first-year players Kyle Hix and Darrion Weems not finishing practice on Sunday.
"There's a lot of confidence in that group," Brady said. "And there's certainly guys in that group who are battle-tested, and have played quite a bit and been in the system, and have been coached by Dante (Scarnecchia). The expectations are high for that position. There's a lot of competition. Those guys are working hard. They're fighting every day out here. They're working hard to figure out a role for themselves. I have a lot of confidence in that group. I've never lacked in confidence for our offensive line."