Tom Brady Had Stellar Training Camp Despite Deflategate Distractions


August 25, 2015

Don’t worry, Tom Brady didn’t turn into a terrible quarterback over the offseason.

A brief glance at his preseason statistics might give someone that false impression, however. Brady is 3 of 9 for 23 yards in two games and five series. He’s completed 33.3 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 42.4.

Of course, preseason stats are meaningless, and Brady is playing behind a beat-up offensive line without 60 percent of his starting offensive weapons.

Brady actually looked in vintage form during Patriots training camp, which officially concluded last week during the team’s joint practices with the Saints, and his practice stats — which also are mostly meaningless but at least have a larger sample size — back that up.

Brady was 192 of 253 in 11-on-11 drills with just one interception and 86 of 110 in 7-on-7s with two picks. He completed 76.6 percent of his passes in team drills with just three interceptions all summer — and that was without Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Aaron Dobson and Scott Chandler for the majority of practices.

Brady was throwing against the Patriots’ still-shaky secondary for most of training camp, but he was even better against the Saints, completing 34 of 42 passes, according to reporters in West Virginia for the joint practices.

If training camp is any indication, not only is Deflategate not bothering Brady, it might be making him even better and more focused, if that’s possible.

Brady still has no idea if he’ll begin the season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, and he probably won’t find out until Sept. 4. But now the real work starts as the Patriots begin to game plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Week 1 of the regular season.

Part of that preparation is Week 3 of the preseason, when Brady likely will play his heftiest share of snaps. He’ll be able to get into a rhythm, potentially play behind a more solid offensive line and possibly have one or two of his starting weapons back.

The Patriots will be fine if Jimmy Garoppolo has to start the season, but their offense will be downright dangerous in the first regular season game Brady leads his team out of the tunnel.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up prior to a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
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