Patriots

Tom Brady familiar with Gus Bradley defenses, realizes Chargers are big test

Tom Brady familiar with Gus Bradley defenses, realizes Chargers are big test

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Tom Brady has seen this Chargers defense before. Sure, he saw it last season when he hit 68.1 percent of his passes for 333 yards and a touchdown. But he's seen it now several times over the years. 

Gus Bradley's fingerprints were on the Seattle defense in Super Bowl XLIX -- he'd moved on to coach the Jags by that point -- when Brady won his fourth Lombardi trophy. The Seattle defensive coordinator in 2014, Dan Quinn, later moved on to coach the Falcons and Brady saw a similar style of defense again in Super Bowl LI. Last year's AFC title game? Same deal. Bradley was the head coach in Jacksonville from 2013-16 and even though he wasn't on the sidelines for a shot to go to the Super Bowl last January, his defense had taken root and was on display. 

So this week should be deja vu all over again for Brady, no?

"Knowing part of the scheme is one thing," Brady told WEEI's "Mut and Callahan Show" Monday morning. "But they incorporate [different] players. And we played them last year, and we didn't play particularly well. 

"I think the challenge is it's a very fundamentally sound defense. They don't really give you any plays. They don't void any zones. The put pressure on you with a great rush. I think that's the challenging part. Any time they can rush with four guys and force the ball out quickly -- I mean, they're all reading the quarterback, they break on the ball, they get a lot of turnovers. Any sloppy play in the pass game results in turnovers. You hold the ball for an extra tick of a second and it's a strip sack by [Melvin] Ingram or [Joey] Bosa."

MORE PATS-CHARGERS

Bosa and Ingram were the definition of disruptive against the Patriots last year. Ingram had nine hurries, including a hit that resulted from a vicious spin move on Joe Thuney. Bosa had a sack while working on Marcus Cannon and generated seven more pressures. 

That type of pressure combined with coverage from 2018 All-Pros Desmond King and Derwin James and 2017 All-Pro Casey Hayward . . . makes . . . life . . . difficult. Not because what they do is exotic. There are only two teams that blitz less often than them. They're just good.

"Coach Bradley’s defense is very disciplined," Bill Belichick said. "They do a great job of creating negative plays in the running game. They usually overload the box so they put one more guy in there than you can block. They’re fast. They’re very aggressive."

"I think this is one of those games we have to play on time," Brady told WEEI, "we have to stay ahead on down and distance. We have to have a great complementary game. It's gotta be well-balanced. It's a great test." 

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.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

When Harry met Tom - Brady works out with Patriots rookie WR and Edelman

When Harry met Tom - Brady works out with Patriots rookie WR and Edelman

While his teammates were at OTAs this week at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady, who skipped them for the second year in a row, had a few Patriots around his place for private workouts.

On social media, Brady posted pictures of himself working out with teammate Julian Edelman and more significantly, Patriots first-round pick, wide receiver N'Keal Harry of Arizona State.

Harry, who told reporters Thursday at OTAs that he had yet to speak to Brady personally and had only communicated with him through social media. That's obviously changed the past few days. Harry, who also tweeted a picture of himself catching Brady tosses, had said this week he was excited to "learn from the best." 

Offseason workouts in Foxboro continue Wednesday and Thursday and mandatory minicamp is June 4-6. July training camp dates have yet to be announced. 

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.


 

Patriots' first-round pick N'Keal Harry to throw out first pitch at PawSox game

Patriots' first-round pick N'Keal Harry to throw out first pitch at PawSox game

The Patriots' first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft soon will be put in his first high-pressure situation in New England.

N'Keal Harry is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at McCoy Stadium on Friday, May 31 before the Pawtucket Red Sox's matchup against the Syracuse Mets.

The 6-foot-2 wide receiver will take photos with fans on the main concourse at McCoy from 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Harry has Patriots fans waiting anxiously to see how he'll gel with his new quarterback, Tom Brady. The Arizona State product has been impressive early on in OTAs and has some believing he'll have an immediate impact in his rookie year.

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.