There’s a general school of thought that says not much can be determined from mini-camps, since there’s no contact and everyone is in shorts. It’s true, games aren’t won between March and August. But there are lessons to be learned.
Tom Brady is the man. Duh.
ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss reported that Brady wrote six things down as reminders for himself during offensive sessions. Those things were:
“Head straight — drag back foot”
“Bent left knee (no vault)”
“Chest @ target”
“Opposite and equal”
In June, it’s all about mechanics and conditioning. As Brady said after Wednesday’s practice, there is nothing special about throwing a football. Nothing impossible about getting it right either. It’s about going about your work the right way, which Brady still does, with gusto, even after all the success he’s earned. Everyone from the Boston beat reporters to the national reporters have commented on how accurate Brady’s passes were. The two touchdowns he and Wes Welker connected on were particularly lauded.
But, true to Brady form, TB12 isn’t happy with where he is yet. No one, he says, is ready to play in games yet. Good thing there’s still two months to go before even those annoying preseason games become an issue, right?
Brady wasn’t the best quarterback coming out of college and certainly wasn’t a great quarterback when he started in the NFL, but he is a testament to what you can accomplish if you never stop working on the fundamentals.
Lloyd sounds promising
Admittedly, when Brandon Lloyd was acquired in the offseason, there was a ripple of excitement in the Patriots community about the team finally having a deep threat. Sounds like he’s meeting the expectation. Described as a player with a “unique skill set” compared to what the team is use to, he’s been a welcome addition to the receiving corps and has by all accounts worked well with Brady thus far. Remember when dearly departed Chad Ochocinco came to town last season and could never really get on the same page as Brady in mini camp? Lots of drops, not a lot of pop? It doesn’t appear Lloyd has the same problem. He might be the answer to our long-ball prayers.
No news not good news on defense
Not hearing much about the defense. Cornerback Ras-I Dowling hasn’t been impressive. Patrick Chung is working with special teams as a punt returner. Devin McCourty is still looking for whatever it was that made him so fantastic his rookie year. So…yeah. It’s all kind of “meh” on that side of the ball. Which is not surprising. What is surprising is that of all the players being talked about, Jermaine Cunningham is probably the only one who has gotten any substantial love. In his Tuesday presser, Bill Belichick praised Cunningham for having an excellent offseason so far. Which is all well and good, of course. If he could only translate that into some kind of excellent in-season play.
But hey…it’s still June
It is indeed only mini camp. So the concept of what this team is or what they will be is pretty fluid right now. From the sounds of things, though, the offense is coming along nicely and the defense will be working to keep up, per usual. Here’s hoping this season they actually do.