Patriots

Bedard: If passing offense starts slow, Bill Belichick should take heat, not Tom Brady

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(Adam Richins for BSJ)

FOXBOROUGH — One of the bigger discussion topics during the Patriots' offseason of discontent was the decision by Tom Brady to emphasize the voluntary in voluntary workouts by sitting out the team portion of offseason practices, only showing up for the mandatory minicamp.

That decision rightfully brought criticism on the league's best quarterback. After years of being present for just about every offseason activity — and Brady touting how he's given up his life to be the best while others don't — he invited the criticism. In the process, he put himself in line for even more of it if the Patriots, who have only one core receiver (Chris Hogan) returning this season, start slowly out of the gate on offense.

But then training camp started and, now, there are two things that we know.