Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with reporters following today's mini-camp practice. Brady was asked about a variety of topics, from Chad Ochocinco, to his mechanics, to what he's seen from receivers Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd.
Thoughts on the return of Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth:
Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. Being back on the field and having a chance to work with a lot of the new guys; some of those guys we've worked with [before]. There's a lot of familiarity with Donte' [Stallworth] and Jabar, with the stuff they've already done on offense, so it's been good. We've had 12 practices, so we've got one more tomorrow and we've got to finish strong.
On Chad Ochocinco's Release:
There's always a lot of player movement. I loved being with Chad, he's a good friend and a great competitor and I enjoyed my chance with him and my opportunity to play with him, but I don't make any personnel decisions and as a player you've just got to deal with what happens and try to be the best quarterback I can be.
What he's working on at this point:
It's a lot of football activity and I think at this point your conditioning and your strength is where it's at. For me it's a lot of drops, a lot of throws and working on footwork and being better mechanically. That's all you can really work on when we don't have any practices. I love to work on my technique and my mechanics, so it actually gives me a lot of time to focus on that.
More highlights from Tom Brady after the jump!
First impressions of Brandon Lloyd:
He's got a unique skill set so it's going to take some time to get used to things that he does really well. We haven't had anyone quite like him, so just to understand where he likes the ball placed and how he gets open. He's a very good player, so we've got a lot of work ahead in training camp and we're going to have to use every single practice and every rep really wisely, because he can be a big part of this offense if we can really get up to speed.
...he's got great ball skills and great body control. If you get it near him, he's going to catch it. It's just a matter of sometimes it doesn't look like he's really open and then boom, he springs open on you. So sometimes you think, ‘Oh he's covered,' and then you get off him and then you watch the film and you're like, ‘How did he get open?' He knows what he's doing to set the guys up and he makes the move and you have to trust that he's going to beat the guy and he does. It's just really a matter of, don't really let your eyes take away from what he's doing in his route, because ultimately he's going to get open at some point.
On technique and mechanics without mentor Tom Martinez:
I had a great level of comfort with Tom over the years and he was always someone I could call on to rely on him, but I know he's watching down with every throw and I hear his voice in the back of my head after every throw. Throwing the football is about mechanics. There's nothing special, it's just a matter of doing it the right way and the better mechanically you are, the more accurate you're going to be able to throw the football. When you're not accurate, there's a reason for it. It's not like, ‘Hey, you just have to throw the ball more accurately.' There's a reason, what are you doing? So I'm constantly evaluating every throw. I watch every throw in practice, every rep that I take in practice I have someone film and I watch it after practice. I just make sure that I'm continuing to work on the right things because ultimately when you're under pressure, your body is going to revert to what it knows. Muscle memory is a very important thing for a quarterback and hopefully you train your muscles to react the way you need them to react when the pressure is on the most. That allows you to throw the ball with velocity and accuracy and the tougher the games get, the closer the coverage is and the more accurate you need to be.
I've got to rely on what he's taught me over the years. I've got a lot of stuff written down, of things that we talked about and things that I've learned. I have a great understanding mechanically of what I need to be able to do, it's just a matter of seeing it and being able to correct it. Hopefully you can correct it between series sometimes because you don't always have the fortune to wait until Monday to figure things out - sometimes you have to figure them out in the middle of the third quarter. That's something where I'll have to rely on everything he's taught me over the years.
Interesting stuff from Brady, particularly on his adjustments without Martinez and his initial impressions of Brandon Lloyd. Personally, hearing Brady talk about throwing to Lloyd, you can't help but get a little excited. It's still very early, but Lloyd seems to embody many of the qualities that the Patriots were missing from their receivers next year.
For those interested, the rest of the transcript from Brady's post-practice interview is located on Patriots.com.