Brady shines at Patriots-Redskins practice
Richmond, Va. (AP) — Tom Brady moved the ball with ease against the
Washington Redskins during the two-minute drill, completing 9 of 10
passes in two scoring drives.
Robert Griffin III lacked the same polish and precision when it was his
turn to face the New England Patriots on Tuesday, the second day of the
teams' joint practices. It was challenging merely to chart his
statistics because of a few generous calls by the coaching staff that
kept plays and drives alive.
Advantage Brady. He and coach Bill Belichick have together for 15
years, so long that they're considered to have more of a partnership
than a traditional coach-player relationship.
Griffin has yet to play a game under his coach. His special career-long
partner was supposed to be Kyle Shanahan, the previous offensive
coordinator and son of coach Mike Shanahan, but the Shanahans were
deposed after a 3-13 season. Griffin, in his third year in the NFL, is
rebuilding anew with coach Jay Gruden.
"It takes a lot of time," Gruden said. "It takes a lot of trust, a lot
of wins, a lot of ups and downs that you fight through together. You
work out together, off the field, on the field. Fifteen years? That's
something that you only hope to have, you only dream of having as a
head coach. Not many coaches last 15 years in the same city, but
obviously that's our goal here is to get Robert here for a long time,
myself here for a long time. Hopefully we can build a relationship
similar to that."
It's a sobering lesson. Shared experience might get Gruden-Griffin in
formidable lockstep in a few years, but no one is that patient anymore.
There are games to be played in 2014.
"Fifteen years is a lot different than one year," Griffin said. "And
they've had 15 years to evolve that offense and continue to build upon
it. ... As far as knowing our offense and moving forward, I think we're
there, but I look forward to evolving with coach Jay and Sean (McVay,
the new offensive coordinator). Fifteen years, I don't know how to put
that in perspective, but I think we're where we want to be right now
and will continue to grow each day."
Belichick said his relationship with Brady grew considerably in 2001,
Brady's second year, after quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein died
suddenly of heart failure during training camp. Belichick started
splitting the quarterback coaching duties with offensive coordinator
Charlie Weis and would meet with Brady and the other QBs anywhere from
two to six times per week, depending on what was going on.
Of course, that was the year in which starter Drew Bledsoe was hurt,
and Brady took over and led the Patriots to the first of three
Belichick-Brady Super Bowl titles.
Nowadays, Belichick doesn't have to meet with Brady nearly as often.
"As a head coach, you want your quarterback to be able to control the
team, the way you see it, (the way you) want it controlled when he's
out there on the field," Belichick said. "The last thing you want is to
be looking out there and kind of have the feeling of, 'What's going on?
What are we doing? This isn't what we want.' That isn't where you want
"I'm fortunate I haven't had that feeling very many times — rarely have
I ever had that. So being on the same page with a quarterback, whatever
it is you're trying to do, whether it's strategy, plays, where the ball
is going to go on a play — when we call a play we get a certain
defense, we know where the ball should go on that play. That's part of
it, too. Tom does a great job of that."
Notes: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski isn't taking part in the joint
practices. He has been limited to non-contact drills during training
camp while recovering from knee surgery, and the sessions with the
Redskins consist mostly of competitive high-intensity drills not suited
to his rehab regimen. ... Redskins WR Pierre Garcon, S Ryan Clark and S
Phillip Thomas were all limited Tuesday with mild hamstring injuries.
It was Ryan Mallett's moment to show what he had against the Redskins with Tom Brady sidelined and…