Hollister Works to Earn Brady’s Trust
FOXBORO -- The post-practice scene wasn’t an usual one for training camp. Tom Brady was spending extra time, throwing passes and working routes with one of the newer Patriots.
Before hitting the resistance bands, Brady hung out with Jacob Hollister. The second-year tight end was willing to put in the extra work, so the quarterback obliged. Brady and Hollister worked on their timing and getting better acquainted.
Here’s a question: Where was Eric Decker? Shouldn’t the wide receiver be first in line in these after-practice sessions trying to get on the same page with Brady? Decker, who is no lock for a roster spot, hasn’t been here two weeks yet. He’s had some trouble holding onto the football. And yet, he was nowhere to be found as Brady and Hollister built chemistry.
And where was Cordarrelle Patterson? Is he content being a returner, and part-time receiver? Sure, he’s made all these circus catches in practice, but none of them have come with Brady throwing the football. It would be great to see him and No. 12 bonding.
How about rookie receiver Braxton Berrios or Riley McCarron, who are on the bubble fighting for roster spots? They haven’t exactly earned Julian Edelman-like trust with Brady.
Phillip Dorsett was hurt late in Tuesday’s practice. He seemed OK, but we’ll still give him a pass this time out. But with a group that’s already short on players who have a connection with Brady, only having one tight end in the lot working after hours with the quarterback spoke a lot.
These players should be begging No. 12 for extra time every day.
Good for Hollister.
“It’s always getting as much extra work as you can. It’s good getting any rep that I can with (Brady),” Hollister said. “Every play, you’re working on chemistry, timing, trust. Those are all the main factors when it comes to throwing and catching a pass.”
Brady, meanwhile, talked about the importance of taking advantage of these days and try to gain what’s needed for the regular season.
“You try to get a little extra work with the receivers, the tight ends,” he said. “Having the stamina to do what it takes is the best trait you can have. Either you get the job done or you don’t. It’s very clear to see when you do. It’s very clear to see when you don’t. There’s a scoreboard at the end of the field. You get to see what the score is at the end. You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
In other words, if the offense isn’t clicking, Brady isn’t on the same page with his receivers and the Patriots aren’t producing points, it’ll be obvious.
Brady had high praise for Hollister, and spoke about the importance of gaining trust with him this year.
“Jake’s put a lot of hard work in. I’m really proud of him to come in as an undrafted free agent, and create a role for himself like last year, have the ups and downs of a rookie year. He played some, he was not playing some, and taken advantage of the role that he’s got,” Brady said. “He’s willing to put the work in. That’s all you can ask for from a quarterback standpoint. He’s a guy who wants to get better, who wants to improve. You can only do that by getting out there and doing it, earning the trust of your fellow teammates and your coaches, and I think Jake’s done that.”
He’s also earned the trust of his quarterback. Right now, with a thin wide receiver group, and Edelman unable to play the first four games due to his suspension, that’s significant.
“I think (putting in the work) is really important and Jake has no problem doing it. Jake will do it all day,” Brady said. “The things we do better more often is going to contribute to being more productive on the field and scoring more points. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Brady also acknowledged the receivers gain a lot in the film room. So it’s not all on the field. He said there’s been a lot of conversation trying to help guys pick things up. In the end, it’s also about individual players running routes, and winning against man coverage.
“It’s adapting to each other, that’s the key,” Brady said. “Certainly you have expectations for players at certain positions. At the receiver position, you show them as much film as you can and say, ‘Look, this is how it’s gotta be.’ It’s up to different guys to figure out how quickly they can pick it up.”
Staying late with No. 12 might make it a lot simpler. He’s willing. How about a little more company next time?