FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Joey Galloway laughs when he thinks about how many quarterbacks he has played with during his long career. It's been so many, in fact, he could probably run into a few of them and forget they had ever been introduced in the first place.
The 37-year-old wide receiver, who is in his 15th NFL season, has worked with about 20 quarterbacks during regular-season game action, a truly astronomical number. Even crazier, this is the first time in Galloway's career he has been with a team that has its franchise quarterback under center during the prime of his career.
"I think you guys are spoiled up here," Galloway said Thursday during a conversation with the New England media, "because Tom [Brady] is different than probably 99 percent of the guys I've played with. No, that communication is not always the same [with different quarterbacks]. There's been a couple of guys that I've played with that are unique like [Brady] is, but it's different."
Galloway has worked with a murderer's row of flash-in-the-pan quarterbacks, including John Friesz, Glenn Foley, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Bruce Gradkowski and Luke McCown. The wideout has also played with two of the most notorious No. 2 picks in NFL draft history: Ryan Leaf and Rick Mirer. And Galloway has also lined up with Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham and Troy Aikman, all of whom were way past their best years.
Given Galloway's experience and track record — he is 13 receptions shy of becoming the 30th player in league history to record 700, which is a laudable accomplishment considering some of the aforementioned quarterbacks — it seemed like he would fit right in with Brady. However, it's been a real work in progress for the wide receiver during his first season with the Patriots.
"It does take time," Galloway said about developing on-field chemistry with Brady. "There's not a certain amount of time that it takes. It just takes a lot of work. The more you play with a guy, the better you get."
Galloway didn't catch any passes during the Patriots' Week 1 victory against the Buffalo Bills, but he was targeted twice. He had five receptions for 53 yards in New England's loss to the New York Jets, when he was targeted 12 times. He and Brady clearly weren't on the same page on several pass attempts, whether Galloway couldn't get out of his breaks in time, they didn't read the defense the same way or Galloway simply couldn't finish a catch.
"In this league, you play against a different defense every single week, and there's going to be weeks when things look good and there's going to be weeks where things don't look good," Galloway said. "And that doesn't mean that a quarterback and a receiver are not in sync. It just means that sometimes you're going against a different look and a different scheme."
Galloway said it's been comforting to be going through this process with Brady, who has been the ultimate teacher every step of the way. If they're out of rhythm on a particular play, Galloway said Brady has been right there to show Galloway what he was thinking and how he wanted his receiver to respond to that coverage.
Even though they haven't been completely in sync on the field — something that has been heavily magnified with Wes Welker out with injury and Galloway being forced to expand his role as a result — Brady and Galloway have remained in communication both at practice and on the sidelines.
"It's our second game playing together," Brady said. "It depends on what the expectations are. If the expectations are that it would be like we've been playing together for 10 years, that's not the reality. You have to go out and go through the process.
"Every relationship with a receiver is different. With some people, it's very seamless. With others, you've got to put extra work in. Joey and I, we have a great relationship. He works extremely hard. He's been in the league for a long time, and he's been in the league a long time for a reason — that's because he's professional, and he's added a lot to this offense."
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