Troy Brown

Tom Brady details how ex-players on coaching staff give Patriots a 'great advantage'

Tom Brady details how ex-players on coaching staff give Patriots a 'great advantage'

Tom Brady won Super Bowls with Troy Brown and Jerod Mayo as teammates. Now, at least one of them is his boss, with Mayo serving as the New England Patriots' inside linebackers coach and Brown helping out at Patriots practices as an unofficial assistant. 

This unique situation is a reminder of Brady's amazing longevity. But beyond that, Brady believes having Mayo and Brown around actually gives the Patriots a leg up over other NFL teams.

"They were great players and great leaders, and for them to transition and then pass on their knowledge in a different way is a great advantage to the guys on our team," Brady said Tuesday morning in an interview on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show."

Here's the key component: Brown and Mayo both played under the same system that head coach Bill Belichick operates today, meaning they are uniquely prepared to help younger players -- like rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry -- get caught up to speed.

"A lot of teams don't get that type of experience, because there's so much turnover and carryover," Brady said. "You don't see a lot of former players back there in the same offense, coaching the same things that they were coached (on). So, I think there's a huge benefit.

"Those guys are great assets to the team because they can hear what's being coached, they can see what a player is doing and they can give the players different insights. They can apply that on the field in real time to make the right decision and make the right play.

" ... If your coaches can help you get to those decisions quicker and you can make the decisions right more often than wrong, it's a huge benefit to the team, and I think those guys have done a great job doing that."

Belichick is the NFL's longest-tenured coach by six years. That stability has been crucial to New England's success over the last two decades, while also allowing former players like Brown and Mayo -- who won a combined four Super Bowls with the Patriots -- to pass along valuable insights that are still relevant to the 2019 squad.

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N'Keal Harry 'taking a lot' from Troy Brown, Tom Brady

N'Keal Harry 'taking a lot' from Troy Brown, Tom Brady

The pressure is on N'Keal Harry to become a quality receiver at the NFL level.

After becoming the first receiver ever drafted in the first round by Bill Belichick, Harry entered New England Patriots training camp with lofty expectations. The team doesn't have a lot at the receiver position, and they may be relying on the young, big-bodied rookie finding some early success to help keep their passing game afloat.

Luckily, Harry is getting some excellent help as a rookie. So far during training camp, Harry has been working with former Patriots wide receiver, Troy Brown, among others to help improve his ability. But Harry is trying to learn as much as he can from the former Patriots star.

“He’s one of the greatest receivers who’s ever played here," Harry said of the opportunity to work with Brown, per NESN's Zack Cox. "I can take a lot from him. I’m going to keep asking him questions and keep learning from him every day."

Harry would be wise to do just that. Brown was an eighth-round pick by the Patriots in 1993 and went on to have a terrific career, logging 557 catches, 6,366 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns during a 14-year career while also standing out as a return man.

Despite being undersized and underrated, Brown was able to find a fit in Bill Belichick's system by refining his route running and getting to know every detail of the offense. Harry is much larger than Brown, but if Brown can help him improve in the two areas in which Brown excelled, Harry could become productive quickly at the NFL level.

Of course, Brown's presence isn't the only one that is helping Harry. Getting to work with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history is going to have an impact on him as well.

"It’s a big help having (Tom Brady) out there helping me make it through training camp and just helping me clean up my details and make sure we’re on the same page," Harry said, per Cox. "… Just a lot of technique stuff, a lot of timing stuff. Things that are going to come the more that we’re on the field together."

As Harry mentioned, he is going to have to make sure he and Brady are on the same page, so Harry should look to spend as much time working with Brady as possible. If they develop chemistry, that could allow Harry to see the field early in his NFL career.

The expectations for Harry may be high, but it seems that he is ready to work hard to live up to them. And learning from a couple of all-time Patriots greats like Brown and Brady certainly will help him ahead of his rookie season.

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Eight notable Patriots who switched positions in Bill Belichick era

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Eight notable Patriots who switched positions in Bill Belichick era

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