Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Veterans at Patriots' OTAs this week
By Mike Reiss
Quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Randy Moss joined their Patriots teammates at voluntary organized team activities Tuesday, highlighting an important offseason stretch in the team-building process.
Last week's organized team activities were for rookies and players new to the team's system. With veterans like Brady and Moss joining in this week, it adds a different dynamic to the workouts.
For Brady, this should mark his most extensive work throwing to some of his new targets, such as veteran receiver Torry Holt and tight ends Alge Crumpler, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Since Brady has spent most of his offseason in California to be closer to his children, he will look to maximize this time with his new receivers.
Brady, who enters his 11th NFL season, often touches on the importance of developing a rapport with his pass-catchers, starting in the offseason. He once noted that the quarterback-receiver pairing isn't like an Olympic basketball team, where players come together without extensive practice time and start producing instant results in games.
Brady's year-round work with receiver Wes Welker is one example of how time spent in the offseason has helped produce big on-field results. Welker is especially successful on option routes that are dictated by the coverage that unfolds after the snap, and it's imperative that quarterback and receiver are on the same page, something that takes time to develop.
Can Brady develop a similar rapport with Holt, second-year receiver Brandon Tate and the team's new trio of tight ends?
Some of the first steps will be taken this week.
Meanwhile, Moss' presence for voluntary workouts reinforces what he told the Boston Herald on Monday. After creating a buzz by parting ways with longtime agent Tim DiPiero and seeking new representation that will help him capitalize on marketing opportunities, Moss explained his approach to the 2010 season.
"I'm going to play the year, I'm not coming in to start any conflicts or be disgruntled," Moss told the Herald. "I don't think I'm realistically in the future plans of the Patriots. But if the New England Patriots don't want me in their future, [it's a business]. I understand."
Moss is entering the final year of his contract. His $6.4 million base salary is the richest of any player on the roster.
The Patriots are scheduled for four days of OTAs this week and another four sessions next week. The workouts are part of the buildup to the team's lone mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 15-17.
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.