FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady will have a new arsenal of weapons around him early in the 2018 season, and the New England Patriots quarterback seems high on some of his new targets.
While tight end Jacob Hollister and wide receivers Phillip Dorsett, Riley McCarron and Kenny Britt were on the Patriots in 2017, they’re expected to take on bigger roles this season. The Patriots also added wide receivers Eric Decker, Braxton Berrios and Cordarrelle Patterson over the offseason. Someone will need to replace wide receiver Julian Edelman during his four-game suspension.
Dorsett appeared to go down with an injury in practice Tuesday, but he’ll reportedly be fine.
“You know, you never like to see it and I think everyone wanted to go over and see how he was doing because he’s been doing so well in the spring and in training camp,” Brady said. “Hopefully he’s okay and I certainly hope he is. He’s got a great opportunity ahead of him. I hope he takes advantage of it.”
Brady spent some time in practice talking to Decker, who struggled with drops Monday. Decker was much more dependable in Tuesday’s session.
“The thing about him is I’ve watched him play a lot of football over the years,” Brady said. “I mean I feel like we’ve — he’s been on the opposing sideline a lot. Whether game-planning for him, I’ve watched a lot of them. I think that he’s always been on great offenses so I just — he’s got to use his skill-set, the one he’s learned for and used for a long time.
“He knows how to get open and now it’s just about learning what we do and how we do it which is always a little different than how other teams may do it. But you know, he’s worked hard, he’s been out here every day, you can tell he’s a real pro and hopefully he can add something to the group. Every role is there to be taken and it’s different opportunities out there at every position and you know, if you can play a role and be consistent, dependable and make the plays then I’m sure Coach (Bill Belichick) will put you out there.”
After practice, Brady spent some extra time throwing with Hollister, who appears to have carved out a bigger role in the passing game this season.
“Jake’s put a lot of hard work in,” Brady said. “I mean, I’m really proud of him to come in undrafted, free agent and create a role for himself like he did last year and then have the ups and downs of a rookie year. He played some, he was not playing some and he’s kind of taken advantage of that role that he’s got and he’s willing to put the work in and that’s all you can ask for from a quarterback standpoint, from a guy who wants to get better and wants to improve. You can only do that one way, by getting out and doing it, earning the trust of your fellow teammates and your coaches and I think Jake’s done that.”
Hollister isn’t in a rush to get off the field when Brady comes calling.
“Yeah, I think that’s really important and Jake has no problem doing it,” Brady said. “I mean, he’ll do it all day so probably calling off the dogs a little bit at the end and you know, we got practice tomorrow, we got a game Thursday and we’re still grinding through. The better — the things we do better more often is going to contribute to being more productive on the field, moving the ball and scoring more points. That’s what we’re trying to do.”