Things are getting a little more heated in Patriots practices, with a new secondary making things a little harder for the offense.
And while quarterback Tom Brady’s a perfectionist, he knows having Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis working over his receivers is making them better.
“I think that’s what defenses do,” Brady said, via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “We’ll go into games and say, ‘Look, these guys hold on every play. They grab you, they clutch you, they hold you, but we still have to figure out a way to get open. It’s not flag football. Their hands are going to be on you, and the refs, they’re only going to call it when you pass the limit of where they think the limit is.’ ”
The Patriots were strafed by the Broncos last year in the AFC Championship Game, and then watched the Seahawks outmuscle the Broncos in the Super Bowl. So that was a not-subtle reminder to a defense that has traditionally played off receivers more often.
“I think all of those guys are veterans,” Brady said. “They know how to get away with certain plays. Like [offensive] holding for example – it happens every play, so if you look close enough you’re going to find holding. There is an edge that you can always push it to. If you look at the offensive line, there’s holding on every play. That’s just the way football is. You’ve just got to do it in a way where the refs don’t see it and don’t call it. But that same thing goes for the defensive backfield. If there is a way to gain leverage on a particular route then you’re going to use it. The veterans know how to do it better; they know right where the limit is.”
And that’s testing the limits of Brady’s patience in practice, even if he knows they’ll be better for it.