Josh McDaniels doesn’t view Tom Brady’s attitude toward the New England Patriots’ offense as a detriment to the team.
McDaniels, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, said Tuesday he understands and appreciates Brady’s concerns, noting the 42-year-old quarterback’s constant quest for perfection.
“I can’t comment exactly on his frame of mind,” McDaniels said in a conference call with reporters. “I just know that he’s a competitive guy. We have a lot of competitive guys on our team, and we all want to do our best. We have one goal when we go out there on the field, every time we have the ball on offense, and that’s to score.
“So when you don’t do as well as you’d like to do, you can understand that personally or collectively as a unit, you’re frustrated with your output. But at the same time, understanding in the big picture, our No. 1 goal and the most important thing for all of us is to contribute to wins. I think there were many things that we did the other day that helped contribute to that, and there were certainly things we did that we want to do better going forward.”
The Patriots notched a 17-10 road win over a tough Philadelphia Eagles team on Sunday but scored just one touchdown in the game and punted eight times, including on each of their final six possessions. Brady expressed his frustration with the offense in an unusually brief postgame news conference and lamented the unit’s squandered opportunities in a radio interview the following night.
New England settled for field goals on possessions that began on Philadelphia’s 28- and 48-yard lines and gained just 12 total yards on two drives that started at its own 48.
“I’ve been with Tom a long time, and I appreciate his competitive spirit, his desire to be perfect in everything he does and with everything that our unit does,” McDaniels continued. “I don’t ever take that as a negative. I understand he wants to go out there and do what we all (want to) do, and that’s put a lot of points on the board every week.
“I talk to him frequently, and we’ve had games where we’ve scored 40 points and we haven’t been real happy, either, because there’s certain things that we didn’t do as well. So our goal right now is to keep getting better and try to improve.”
McDaniels, who’s steered New England’s offense since 2012, shouldered the blame for the unit’s recent ineffectiveness. The Patriots still rank third in the NFL in points scored per game — they haven’t finished outside the top four since 2009 — but have struggled situationally, ranking 17th in third-down conversion percentage (38.8 percent) and 25th in the red zone (touchdowns on 48.8 percent of their trips inside the 20).
“This is my responsibility,” McDaniels said. “I certainly want to look at what I’m doing first and try to figure out what I can do better to try to help put our players in position to be successful each week. That’s what my job is, and I’m going to do the best I can at doing that. I know our guys have a great attitude and approach each week, and we continue to try to work hard in practice to improve to eventually play our best football, which we haven’t played yet.
“So there’s a lot of things we can do better, and I’m going to start with myself and figure out what I can do to make a positive difference for us moving forward in a lot of areas offensively that we can improve and be better in.”