New WRs catching on
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
By: Jeff Howe
FOXBORO — To reaffirm the obvious, the Patriots can’t coach young wide receivers like Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins and Kamar Aiken as if they were Troy Brown, Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Deion Branch.
Coach Bill Belichick and his assistants will forever demand their players’ most intense work ethic, whether those players are undrafted longshots or future Hall of Famers, but the teaching with the current wideouts has required a lower base as they progress with their education.
Aside from Julian Edelman, who is still recovering from offseason foot surgery, the other 11 receivers on the training camp roster have combined for one career catch in a Patriots uniform. That reception belongs to special teams captain Matthew Slater.
Therefore, there’s a whole lot for the new group to learn, and that’s especially true for the rookies.
“We’re just focusing on trying to improve,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said yesterday. “It’s so early in the process. We have a pretty young group out there. Their effort has been great. Their attention to detail and what we’re trying to get done, so far, I think that’s where we’d want it to be. Every day, hopefully, is a day we can go out there and do some things better. So far, I think we’ve accomplished that.”
Of course, it helps to have Tom Brady in the middle of that process. Through the first four days of camp, the offensive skill-position players have raved about the quarterback’s leadership, noting the first session was completely on point because of Brady’s demanding attitude. They wouldn’t dare to try easing into the routine.
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