- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- No one is confusing Tom Brady with some of the more mobile quarterbacks in the NFL, but Friday at the Patriots’ organized team activity, the coaches put him on the move.
It was a snapshot of what these OTAs are all about – a chance for players to focus on certain areas to improve, with coaches teaching the finer points of the game.
“We were moving in the pocket and throwing off-schedule throws. That’s not necessarily a strength of our quarterbacks in general, and I think that’s something we’ve identified that could have helped us – a time here, a time there – and we’re adamant about trying to make it better,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels explained afterwards.
After the practice, McDaniels and other assistant coaches answered questions from reporters.
Here were a few soundbites of note from McDaniels:
What he’s seen from Brady this offseason: “The same thing that I’m used to seeing. He’s in great shape, great condition. Early in the building. He’s working really hard. He’s been accurate. He’s definitely the leader of our group on offense. He’s competing hard and that’s really a great example for the rest of our guys on offense.”
If he thinks Brady is still improving: “Yup, I do. It’s hard for me to ever feel like that wouldn’t be the case. Any time you have a guy that is really focused on working on all of the weaknesses in his game, when there really aren’t that many, you can see where there would be room for growth. He listens as well or better than he ever has in terms of taking coaching and working on things that we’re trying to get better at. I think that’s a great example for the rest of the guys.”
Tight end position: “We have a couple young guys that are a little raw but we’re intrigued by some of the things they’re doing. Brian Daboll is doing an exceptional job of working with the position and trying to get some of those young guys caught up to what we’re doing. We have confidence in what we have.”
On patience with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: “It’s pretty similar to most every other rookie quarterback I’ve had a chance to work with. It takes a while before you can truly see them feel comfortable, because their mind is going so fast. They have so many things to think about and there are so many things they are not 100 percent on top of yet. So sometimes if you’re too quick to judge a younger player like that, you can make a mistake. You have to give it some time.”
On receiver Jeremy Gallon: “Good kid. He’s ready to work, excited to be here. It’s a couple days in, but we’re excited to see how he fits with the rest of our group. He has some flexibility to himself and I know he’ll work hard, coming from the program he’s coming from. We’ll see how far it goes.”
On Julian Edelman: “He’s certainly a guy that’s a leader for us, on and off the field. He’s a tireless worker and a guy we can do a lot of things with. He’s very unselfish, doesn’t care what we ask of him. He’s willing to do whatever helps the team. Just his presence, the way he works, his ethic, how he studies and prepares for OTAs, for games, for practices and the way he keeps his body in great condition, I think it’s a great example for all of our players, on offense and defense, to look to and model themselves after.”