The message has been steady from quarterback Tom Brady: While the New England Patriots have enjoyed exponentially more offensive success of late than they did early in the season, they still have plenty of room to improve.
Brady, whose team has scored 38 or more points in each of its last four games, reiterated that fact when speaking with reporters Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“I think everyone’s been trying to just improve on a weekly basis,” Brady said. “We haven’t had that much time with the whole group together between Jules (Julian Edelman), Josh (Gordon), Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), Sony (Michel). I think that’s probably still in its infancy in a way. We’ve got a lot of room to grow. I think we’re trying to work at it every day in practice to see if we can make improvements from week to week.”
Thanks to Edelman’s season-opening suspension, Gordon’s late arrival (via trade after Week 2) and injuries to Gronkowski and Michel, the Patriots have had their full complement of offensive weapons in just two of their seven games this season.
That trend is likely to continue Monday night in Buffalo, with Gronkowski seemingly on track to play against the Bills after sitting out last week’s win over the Chicago Bears with a back injury but Michel listed as doubtful with a bum knee.
Absences like these, Brady said, have prevented New England’s offense from reaching its full potential thus far.
“I think it’s whatever it is, because you could have everyone together, and then someone gets hurt, and then you’ve got to incorporate someone new, and then you’re starting all over again,” the 41-year-old QB said. “It’s just constant adjustment. I think that’s the big challenge with football — a lot of guys are playing and competing, so a lot of attrition takes a toll at some point.
“You’ve just got to try and do the best that you can do over the course of a long season. It’s not a one-game season. It’s 16 games, four months and you’ve got to put it together over the course of a long year.”
Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL, and the Patriots have withstood some major ones in recent years, including Edelman’s torn ACL in 2017 and Gronkowski’s season-ending back injury in 2016.
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