FOXBORO, Mass. — No one knows exactly what New England Patriots football research director Ernie Adams does for the organization, but apparently his role includes relaying nuggets of wisdom to quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady was asked Wednesday about spreading the ball around to his multitude of weapons, and he quoted Adams.
“You have to be able to make them defend the width of the field, the length of the field,” Brady said at his weekly news conference. “Ernie told me, he once told me, ‘Make them defend every blade of grass.’ I think that’s a great thing to do. They’ve got to be able to — that’s how you stress the defense. You can force the ball to all different parts of the field, and they never really know who’s going to get it. They can key on certain players, but if you do that, you’re vulnerable to other things.
“It’s good to have kind of a lot of tools in your toolbox and to be able to use them at different times. Whatever you need, that’s what you’ve got to pull out and be able to do. Good offensive execution takes all 11 of us and so much of what we practice is us all being on the same page every play, every day, every week, so we can be our best. We’re going to need it. This team really forces you to have every guy on the same page because it’s hard to anticipate what they’re going to do, because they do so many things. We’ve got to be on the high alert.”
Brady has done a nice job of spreading around the ball this season and throwing to different levels of the field.
Brady has targeted wide receiver Julian Edelman 17 times, tight end Rob Gronkowski 16 times, running back James White 15 times, tight end Martellus Bennett 13 times, wide receiver Chris Hogan six times, wide receiver Danny Amendola four times, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell three times and running back LeGarrette Blount twice. Four of those receivers have at least 100 yards in two games.
Brady is 8 of 10 on throws behind the line of scrimmage, 14 of 19 on throws between 1 and 10 yards, 3 of 7 on throws between 11 and 20 yards, 1 of 1 on throws between 21 and 30 yards, 1 of 2 on throws between 31 and 40 yards and 1 of 1 on throws of 41 yards-plus.
The Patriots’ media guide says Adams’ “responsibilities include researching special assignments for both the coaching staff and the personnel department.” He met Belichick at Phillips Andover Academy and worked with him on the New York Giants from 1979 to 1985 and with the Cleveland Browns from 1991 to 1995. He’s been with the Patriots since New England hired Belichick as head coach in 2000.
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