New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received snaps from sophomore center David Andrews during camp. Back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played with Bryan Stork. When Brady and Garoppolo rotated in with the first team, they brought their center along with them.
Now the dynamics of the competition changed once training camp was in full swing, but it seems like Brady was quietly rooting for Andrews to win the starting job the whole time.
Tom Brady's preferred center, David Andrews, has won the job. Bryan Stork was released this morning, per source.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 24, 2016
Howe added that Andrews “basically solidifed the job” when Stork was tossed from joint practices for fighting.
When Brady was asked about playing with Andrews last season, he had nothing but good things to say.
“He's done exceptionally well,” Brady said before the week 9 match-up with Washington. “It's impressive to be a rookie ... When I was a rookie I was the fourth quarterback on the roster. I got to like, eat nachos before the game, and I wasn't dressing or active. I just had to bring my playbook to the meeting. That was about as much as I had to do right that year.
“So for him to come in there and play every snap as an undrafted free agent. He came in and Wendy [Ryan Wendell] was there, Stork was there, he's fighting to make the team, and then gets the opportunity and takes advantage the way he did was very, very impressive. So he's a great kid, a lot of fun to be out there with. So I can't say enough good things about him.”
Howe reports that “Brady had gotten into it with Stork for not knowing the line checks. Andrews is more cerebral, knows plays in & out.” ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes that Andrews has “endeared himself” to offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Howe also notes that the coaching staff didn’t like how Stork couldn’t “couldn't harness the attitude on the field.”
Here’s a potential miscommunication on the goal line between Stork and Josh Kline that likely caught the attention of the coaching staff.
All things considered, Andrews held the edge on Stork in almost every evaluation category other than raw size. Andrews won an off-season award for his time in the weight room, so clearly the coaching staff is comfortable with his growth.
Brady wants a player that he can trust and a player that can be consistent. Stork, for all of his potential and contributions to the Super Bowl XLIX run, was not consistent in his availability or in his mental approach to the game.
For those reasons, Brady wanted Andrews to be the team’s starting center in 2016.