There will be no mandatory minicamp or training camp for Tom Brady to get on the same page with his newest New England Patriots target.
There will be no secluded Montana workouts, either.
But Antonio Brown is at Gillette Stadium now as the second week of the regular season begins.
“We’re going to meet as much as we possibly can,” Brady told Westwood One’s Jim Gray on Monday night. “I think the quarterback-receiver relationship is so important. The more you know each other, the more you know what each other are thinking, the faster you can accelerate the trust and confidence in one another when you get on the field.”
Brown, the longtime Pittsburgh Steeler and brief Oakland Raider, joins a group of wideouts on the field that includes Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas.
Undrafted rookies in Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski are there, as well, for the Patriots. The same also goes for captain Matthew Slater in the kicking game.
The acclimation process with Brown is in its early stages on a 53-man depth chart of eight.
“I’ve had that with a lot of guys that I’ve played with, certainly guys that are on the roster now – Julian, Phillip Dorsett, Josh – you saw that [Sunday] night. But when you haven’t played with guys, you’ve got to try to do it as quickly as possible,” Brady said of the trust. “And the clock is ticking on us right now. This is not the offseason program. This is about real games that count, and we’re going to try to spend as much time as we can together and really get up to speed and lock in with what our roles and responsibilities are.”
Brown’s signing was made official by the Patriots on Monday. The organization waived safety Obi Melifonwu and released tight end Lance Kendricks to make room.
As for how the 31-year-old Brown made his way from Oakland to New England, it isn’t a Randy Moss scenario. But it is a clean slate for a player who’s led the NFL in receiving touchdowns once, both receptions and receiving yards twice, and posted six consecutive campaigns with more than 100 receptions and 1,000 yards.
“I’ve had a lot of experience in 20 years of football with a lot of different teammates,” Brady said. “If you look at a guy like Randy – whatever was said about him – he’s a great friend of mine 12 years later after we met. We have a great relationship. He came in and set the league on fire that season. He was so excited to play and compete, was an incredible teammate, and what we did that season was the best statistical season our team has ever had in terms of offense. So, you don’t judge anything. I’m not judging anything before I’ve had a chance to go out and practice and prepare. I’ve had so many great teammates over the years.”
Brown has an opportunity to become another.
“Antonio, meeting him today, I really enjoyed being around him,” added Brady. “He’s a very smart football player, knows how to play the game. He’s been extremely productive, and the only thing that I know we can do is to go out there and work at it, to meet and to communicate and get on the practice field and go through things. I’m not buying into any hype or potential. I’m into work. He’s into work. Our entire offense is into doing what’s in the best interest of the team, and I’m really excited to get to practice on Wednesday.”