Patriots

NFL Notebook: Tom Brady’s views on young WRs fits with his late-career Brady-centric arc, will it factor into his end with NE?

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We'll get into the possibility that Ben Watson's return to the Patriots could be over before it really started, how the NFL should ban Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict and our game pick against the #Deadskins, but first, we start with what Tom Brady's recent comments could mean for his future.

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We've all heard Tom Brady's comments this week in regards to the struggles of younger players in the Patriots' offense, which Brady didn't dispute.

Phil Perry: "If you look at your offense historically, younger players have had a hard time in terms of having a lot of production..."

Brady: "Yup."

Perry: "...how much of that can you help change maybe ... is there anything you can do to help make those players more productive?"

Brady: "Yeah, I think it’s up to ... I think one thing we talk about here is just doing our jobs. I mean, I can do what I can do. Every player can do what they can do. I can’t do anything for anyone else; they can’t do anything for me. So, a lot of it’s just trust and trying to communicate trust and communication. So, I’ve always said the best teammates are the ones that I have to think about the least because I don’t want to spend my mental energy on things that aren’t really my job. The same goes on defense. The free safety can’t rush the passer and the pass rushers can’t cover the deep part of the field. So, I think what makes a good team is just people doing their job, doing it the best way they can and that’s what my responsibility is."

For the fans who instantly reflect on the Patriots' near-complete inability to draft receivers in the QB's career, those comments from Brady are irritating.

There are some that won't care in the least, considering the unbelievable success of Brady and the team during his career.

Both viewpoints are fair.

What we do know is that Brady's "I only work here" disposition is in keeping with his recent attitude with respect to his responsibilities to the team beyond his own performance.

Brady used to be QB1 365/24/7 before his squabbles two years ago with Bill Belichick over Brady's contract and the privileges of trainer Alex Guerrero.

Suddenly, Brady was a part-time QB who couldn't find the time to make the seven voluntary offseason practices sprinkled in between the three-month post-Super Bowl break, and five-week rest before training camp (seven practices in 5 1/2 months, total).

Then, after the Patriots wouldn't agree to extend his contract this offseason, Brady had his request honored to not be hit with the franchise tag when his contract voids on the last day of the league year and he becomes a free agent for the first time. Oh, and Brady put his house on the market (so did Guerrero).

So why would it surprise anyone that Brady continued his "I just work here" attitude to that of his rookie teammates?

Sure, part of it was basically an escalation of Brady's feelings that "if the team doesn't think enough of me to give me a real contract until I'm 45-years-old, why should I continue to do all this extra work them?"

Some of it had to do with Brady's own indoctrination into the league.

We'll get into whether or not this plays into Brady's endgame as a Patriot from the team's perspective in a minute, but let's also be real and call Brady's attitude toward his younger teammates what it really is: a matter of convenience.

Brady was "a million percent" in on Antonio Brown, offering up his house and anything else to help speed up Brown's assimilation into the Patriots' offense.

Do you think Brady's doing the same with Jakobi Meyers, Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse, Gunner Olszewski and N'Keal Harry (Izzo and LaCosse aren't rookies, but they're in their first year with Brady)?

Of course he's not. Brady wasn't just doing his own job and leaving Brown up to his coaches. Brady had plenty of mental energy for Brown. Why the difference?