Brady Starts To Find Comfort Level With Rookie Receivers

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” Vince Lombardi

Little by little the New England Patriots offense is slowly finding its way as rookie wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins get comfortable and in rhythm with Quarterback Tom Brady.

After another shaky 1st quarter, the three started getting in sync and while the results weren’t spectacular, they were much better than the game prior against the NY Jets.Brady Thompkins USA Today

Brady found Thompkins for 2 touchdowns in the Patriots 23-3 beatdown of the surprisingly struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers to run the Patriots to 3-0 on the season.

“I thought the guys did a great job…we had a good week of practice and I think it ultimately showed up,” Brady said.

“They’re doing a great job,” Brady added. “They’ve worked really hard to understand what we’re trying to do on a weekly basis.”

Thompkins has been noticeably tight in the first two games after having a very good spring and summer and yesterday he still had some hiccups. Thompkins turned to run down field before bringing a pass all the way in during the second half but he was much better on Sunday.

His first touchdown was a really nice catch and run, facing a 2nd and 6 from the Bucs 16 yard line Brady hit Thompkins on a slant and the rookie made a beauty of a cut back and waltzed untouched into the end zone and then into a big embrace from Brady. It was a big difference from last Thursday night’s Brady blowup on the sidelines.

“To go out there, for me to be open, and to have Tom trust me to throw me the ball felt good,” Thompkins said. Thompkins later added a second score from the five when Brady with all kinds of time to throw, found him at the back of the end zone.

In fact, it was more a case of Brady struggling on Sunday against the Bucs than the rookies on Sunday. Brady double-clutched the ball a few times, made some uncharacteristic poor decisions and was off on some of his throws.

One they'd like to have back, Patriots WRs Thompkins and Edelman run alone down the seam, unseen by QB Tom Brady. (NFL Rewind)

One they’d like to have back, Patriots WRs Thompkins and Edelman run alone down the seam, unseen by QB Tom Brady. (NFL Rewind)

Dobson was wide open in the end zone on one drive and Brady fired a pass straight into the turf. Although the Bucs had pressure, it was a throw that he normally makes in his sleep. On another red zone attempt, Brady stared down tight end Zach Sudfeld and threw into tight coverage, allowing S Mark Barron to pick him off in the end zone.

But perhaps the biggest play he’d like back was from the second quarter, Brady sucked both safeties in on a great play call but inexplicably threw down the sideline to Sudfeld who was covered tightly. But Brady missed both Thompkins and Julian Edelman running free down the seams all alone toward the end zone.

But overall, it was a solid effort for everyone all around, Tampa Bay has a very good defense and the Patriots were able to run the ball for 156 yards and a good 4.8 yard per carry average as well as see the young guns start to step it up.

Overall targeting Thompkins/Dobson, Brady was 10-17 with 2 TDs, a marked improvement over the 5-17 performance against the Jets. Dobson finished with 7 catches for 72 yards. Brady was 7-7 targeting Julian Edelman and things don’t seem as dire as last week when looking at the New England offense.

While the meat of the schedule is now upon them, the Patriots have been missing three of their biggest offensive weapons in playing without Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Shane Vereen.

Gronkowski should be available soon, Vereen is out until Week 11 and when Amendola is ready is up in the air but having the rookies catch on is not only needed now, but when these players return, it will make the New England offense that much harder to defend.

Next week looms a much larger test, the Falcons fresh off a heartbreaker of a loss against Miami will be looking to right the ship. And the rookies know, this was last week and they have to be even better in Week 4.

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