By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tom Brady finally took the field for his first minicamp session of the offseason for the Patriots after missing every OTA so far. Fortunately for the team and its Hall of Fame quarterback, Brady looked like Brady.
No. 12 looked sharp as ever as he got the majority of the reps in team drills on Tuesday, at least temporarily calming any concerns about how he would look throwing the ball to his teammates. The majority of Brady’s targets were catching passes from him for the first time this year, but for the most part, it looked like he’d been there the whole time.
Kenny Britt stood out among the receivers, at one point catching a deep rainbow from Brady down the left sideline for about 50 yards in one of the highlight plays of the day. Britt later appeared to pull up with an injury to his lower body and had to leave practice early, but looked solid when out there.
Brady was also on-point with the running backs. He rifled through the whole depth chart making quick throws over the middle and corner throws to the end zone, with James White and Rex Burkhead looking particularly crisp with their routes. Brady also looked to be on the same page with rookie running back Sony Michel, who caught a number of quick throws.
One of Michel’s lone blemishes, however, came in 7-on-7 drills. Brady made a deep throw over the middle to Michel, who had his defender beat but couldn’t quite make the catch over his head. Brady’s throw looked a tad short, but the play was there to be made and Michel dropped it as he tumbled to the turf. The coaches didn’t sound pleased with the rookie’s play in that moment.
But besides a deep ball to Britt that sailed over the receiver’s head, Brady mostly looked like his same old self. The rest of his incompletions could be categorized as drops. He went 21-for-25 passing total in team drills, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
The relationship between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick has been a popular topic this offseason, especially as Brady stayed away from team practices until today. When he wasn’t throwing, Brady spent most of his time speaking with Josh McDaniels and was never spotted interacting directly with the head coach. In fact the pair were rarely seen within 20 yards of each other.
It’d be wild speculation to suggest that Brady and Belichick were actively avoiding each other. Belichick said before practice that he’s “always had a good relationship” with the QB. It was just a little striking that there was never so much as a fleeting moment where they were spotted together on the field.
But the important thing for now is, the team looked like the well oiled machine it typically is. And Brady looked like himself on the field, making good reads and even better throws. We’re obviously a long way from saying everything is perfect at Patriot Place, but the hysteria over Brady’s absence from OTAs should at least dissipate a little bit after Tuesday’s performance.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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