Players seemed to have trouble holding their own under pressure, a problem that had also crept up last year as opposing defenses found a way to get to quarterback Tom Brady.
While much of the offseason talk has been about Brady and his many weapons at tight end and wide receiver, everyone knows Brady can’t make his passes if the defense is immediately on top of him.
But Brady said Monday that he isn’t one of those concerned.
“Honestly, it’s not my job to worry about those guys,” he told WEEI on The Dennis and Callahan Show. “I have a lot of confidence in that group in general, not just the individuals. The longer offensive lines play together, typically the better that they play, the more comfortable they are with one another. Offensive line is very similar to an offense in general in that the more trust you have in one another, the better that you typically play. It’s still early in training camp, and certainly we don’t have all the answers three weeks into the year.”
The Patriots still have players competing for roster spots and are moving on from the offseason retirement of longtime lineman Matt Light. Guard Logan Mankins, who is working his way back from an ACL injury, didn’t even appear in camp until Sunday.
Brady wouldn’t give predictions on how the team will fare or how quickly different units will get their acts together. He talked instead about the “process” of building toward the regular season and the importance of getting to work.
While Brady reserved judgment about the line, though, he wasn’t shy about praising another part of the offense.
“I’ve had quite a bit of work with Josh [McDaniels] over the years, both as a quarterbacks coach and as a play-caller,” Brady said of his newly returned offensive coordinator. “He and I are extremely comfortable with one another. He’s a great coach. I love being coached by him. He comes prepared every single day. He’s always got something new to add to us. He brings a lot of energy to our offense. He’s a great coach.”
With that kind of faith in coaching, who needs an offensive line?