Sunday night, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady drew some criticism when footage emerged of him getting after his wide receivers. The Patriots were losing to the Houston Texans at the time, and many believed that he was taking his frustrations out on his teammates. However, Brady explained to sports radio host Jim Gray that he is constantly talking to his receivers about how to get better, but it's not captured by cameras during practice sessions or team meetings.
“Well I do that quite a bit in practice,” Brady said, per The Boston Globe. “I know they don’t always pick it up when I do speak, but I do speak a lot in meetings and [on] the practice field, and certainly in the huddle. I’m just trying to communicate what I see. A lot of other guys are doing the same things.”
As he continued to explain, the Texans came out of the gates early with an aggressiveness that helped them build up a sizable lead. Brady wanted to match this pace and keep his team competitive. Getting everyone on the same page was part of this process. He tried to achieve this by telling them ways to be better on the field. Although it appeared more combative to outsiders.
The lack of overall chemistry between Brady and his receivers was evident to many on Sunday night as he threw an interception early on a pass intended for rookie N'Keal Harry. Other throws landed on the turf with no receiver in the vicinity. When the Patriots needed to mount a furious comeback, he targeted veteran receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White.
Brady understands that the footage from Sunday night makes it appear that he and his receivers don't have the best relationship. However, he wants to make it clear that this is not the case. He sees them working hard and appreciates their effort, even when it doesn't appear so during the game.
“Guys are trying. I have no problem — I love playing with Phillip Dorsett. I love playing with N’Keal," Brady said on the Greg Hill Show. "N’Keal is working his tail off. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities out there and he’s learning as he’s going. To expect someone to go out in their third game of the year and be perfect, I think that is unrealistic for anyone. I love what N’Keal is bringing. We’re gaining confidence every week."
With a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on tap, the Patriots will have to showcase this continued growth. The defending league MVP in Patrick Mahomes is capable of putting up 30-plus points each week with his surrounding players, and this game could turn into a shootout. Will the young Patriots receivers be ready to take part in such a game?
(Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty)