“The guys that are out here and working together, you can see improvement. The guys who aren’t out here as much are working hard to get back out here so they can make those improvements. That’s just part of the way it is.”
It’s something Welker has become accustomed to in his time in New England.
“Everybody needs a pick-me-up every once in a while, and he does a great job of trying to get guys going and making sure we’re all on the same page,” Welker said. “But there are tons of things being worked on. Even the things we’re good at, we can get better at. Everything needs work.”
Every player’s idea of progress is different. With Mallett (or any quarterback), Belichick said it’s unfair to assume that every pick is his fault. At this stage, it’s important for the 24-year old to see how far he can push himself.
“As I tell our players, that’s part of what practice is for — to take risks, and to push it to see how far it can go, to see how much you can do,” Belichick said. “Sometimes it’s going to come up a little bit short, but if it’s done in the right context, then you learn from that and you realize this is how far I can go and I can’t gamble beyond this, but I can push it to this point.
“But if you never push it to this point, then I don’t think you ever really know how far it can go.”
It will never be perfect.
Brady has thrown 115 interceptions in his career. Mallett hasn’t thrown a pass as a professional. The key is to work the kinks out while you can.
“The interesting thing about training camp is that there’s always going to be a bad play on the play,” Brady said. “It’s the offense against defense. You’re not going to come out of too many practices where the offense does things 100 percent right.”
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.