Patriots

Tom Brady 'excited' for Josh Gordon's return, but managing expectations

Tom Brady 'excited' for Josh Gordon's return, but managing expectations

Few people should be happier about Josh Gordon's return than Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots quarterback indeed is glad to have another weapon in his arsenal.

During an interview Tuesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Brady said he found at the same as everyone else (Friday night) that Gordon had been reinstated from his indefinite suspension.

"That's kind of the way it works in the NFL," Brady said. "There’s not a lot of information that comes out."

"Obviously everyone is excited to have him back, and we’ll just take it day-to-day."

Like head coach Bill Belichick, though, Brady declined to fuel the Gordon hype train any further. When asked about a June report that Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, had taken Gordon out to dinner, the veteran quarterback instead spoke broadly about the rapport he has with all of his pass-catchers.

"In general, I have had a great relationship with a lot of the guys -- almost every single guy I have ever played with," Brady said. "Relationships are a two-way street. That's part of what makes a real healthy relationship. I have had a quarterback-receiver relationship, whether it's with Julian (Edelman), or Troy Brown, or Wes (Welker) or Randy (Moss).

"We talk a lot. We communicate a lot. You want to see everybody that you work with and play with be the best they can be, and you try and support and empower the best way that you can. It’s different for everybody. Everybody comes from different places and I always try and do the best I can do."

Gordon currently is on the non-football injury list and can't play in Thursday's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. It's unclear when he'll return to action, so in the meantime, it appears Brady is being cautiously optimistic about his talented wideout.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady (calf) looks good to go after popping up on Patriots injury report

Tom Brady (calf) looks good to go after popping up on Patriots injury report

FOXBORO — Because it’s Tom Brady, any time his name shows up on the injury report it’s worth taking notice. But from what reporters saw at Thursday's Patriots practice, it appears as though there’s not much to worry about when it comes to Brady’s latest ailment. 

Brady was listed as a limited participant during Wednesday’s practice due to a calf injury, but he seemed to be moving without issue at the start of Thursday’s workout. 

Going through the team’s usual stretching routine, Brady moved without a noticeable limp. He also took part in the high-knee portion of the warmup by aggressively churning his legs, not favoring one or the other. Brady jogged at a good pace during the warmup and after the warmup while heading toward one end of the practice field for the next practice period. That was when media availability at the session ended. 

Brady's lower-body health is critical to the success of the Patriots offense. He’s not a threat to run for significant yardage, but his mobility inside the pocket allows the Patriots to avoid negative plays and create scramble-drill opportunities that can lead to big gains. Against the Jets and their blitz-happy coordinator Gregg Williams, it’ll be important for Brady to be able to climb the picket to escape edge pressure or side-step pressure coming from the interior of the Patriots offensive line. 

As the Patriots deal with shuffled personnel on the offensive line — Isaiah Wynn is on injured reserve and Marcus Cannon is dealing with a shoulder injury — Brady may be forced to get himself out of trouble more than he might if he had his full starting offensive line to play behind. 

What reporters saw from Brady on Thursday was brief. But it was encouraging for the Patriots that after being limited 24 hours earlier, the 42-year-old quarterback looked like himself. (The Patriots will release an injury report later on Thursday. Brady would be considered limited again if he took anything less than what’s typically considered a full workload for him.)

The Patriots were without fullback James Develin and outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun at the start of practice. Both missed Wednesday’s workout. Develin is dealing with a neck issue while Calhoun had a non-injury related issue that held him out of the team’s first practice this week. 

Fantasy Football Beat: Can Bill Belichick eliminate Le'Veon Bell?>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady gives Antonio Brown route-running lesson at Patriots practice

Tom Brady gives Antonio Brown route-running lesson at Patriots practice

FOXBORO — It didn’t go on for too long, but Tom Brady will probably take any opportunity he gets with Antonio Brown to go over the finer points of route-running. 

The pair did just that at Thursday’s practice as they went over the details of how to set up a defender at the tail end of the Patriots warmup period. Brady played the role of cornerback at times, showing Brown how to attack him. Then Brady had Brown play the role of corner, apparently showing Brown what he wants Brown to do in certain situations based on a defender’s leverage. 

The conversation lasted about two minutes and was somewhat animated as the quarterback-receiver combo shared their perspectives with one another. Given that the quarterback’s understanding of where his receiver is headed is based in part on body language, it makes sense that the two were deliberate in their footwork and, at times, with their upper-body movements. 

Brady and Brown have been teammates for just over a week, and the pair connected four times in Miami for 56 yards and a touchdown. They also were not close on a handful of targets in the third quarter when Brady expected Brown to do one thing and he did something else. 

Brown spent extra time at the Patriots facility last week to get caught up on plays as quickly as possible, but there is no substitute for one-on-one work with Brady as he gets acclimated to Brady’s preferences. Even receivers like Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman have spent recent seasons getting in extra training camp reps with Brady long after establishing themselves as trustworthy targets. It’s an ongoing process, being one of Brady’s go-to options.

For Brown, who’s dealing with very limited practice reps with Brady going into meaningful games, there’s an immense amount of ground to make up. Every little bit of information he can glean from Brady could help, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two continue to have conversations like the one they had before Thursday’s practice began in earnest.

Fantasy Football Beat: Can Bill Belichick eliminate Le'Veon Bell?>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.