Mohamed Sanu’s tenure with the New England Patriots is not even three weeks old, but the early returns on the team’s investment — it sent a second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons to get Sanu on board — are already promising. After catching two passes for 23 yards in his debut against the Cleveland Browns, the veteran added 10 receptions for 81 yards and his first touchdown on Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
While the 10 catches tied him with Julian Edelman for most on the team during the primetime loss in Baltimore, his 14 targets led all of the Patriots’ skill position players. Needless to say that Sanu already appears to enjoy his quarterback’s trust even at this early stage of his stint with in New England — an important development considering that Tom Brady is one of the most demanding passers the NFL has ever seen.
“I certainly have a way that I like the receivers to play, so it’s hard to get someone up to speed in a very short period of time,” the future Hall of Famer recently told Patriots color commentator and former backup quarterback Scott Zolak (via patriots.com). However, it seems as if Brady is happy with the work that Sanu has put in during his first few days in the organization: “He’s done everything we could expect, and more.”
The 30-year-old, who spent the last three-and-a-half seasons playing alongside Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, is also feeling good about the state of his relationship with Brady: “We’re getting better; working on things little-by-little, making sure we’ll see everything the same. Every time we get an opportunity to talk about something I make sure to [ask] ‘I see this way, you see it that way? Cool, let’s run it like this.’”
“Him having the targets the other night, making the plays — not only his hands, his run after catch, his toughness — we’re definitely going to have some fun working together the second half of the year as he gets more comfortable and confident in what we’re doing and we gain more of a shared vision of how we see things. I think our chemistry is going to keep improving,” continued Brady about the newest weapon in his arsenal.
Sanu himself, meanwhile, was surprised by the legendary quarterback and his approach to both the game and to working with his teammates. The ex-Falcon and Bengal described Brady as follows: “Being around Tom, he’s totally different than what you’d image. [I envisioned] somebody who is straight focused, locked in. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work, but when it’s time to chill and relax he’s a chill, funny, laid-back dude.”
At the end of the day, however, the two players share a common goal: building a chemistry and ultimately seeing the game through the same set of eyes. Two games in, it seems as if they are succeeding, but the upcoming contests — four straight against playoff hopefuls — will show whether or not that is truly the case. Judging by their statements, though, it seems as if they will be well prepared for the challenges that are coming.