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Patriots notebook

Brady takes unexpected hit

His planning for Jaguars didn’t include sitting out

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / August 16, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - The night before the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Jaguars last week, Tom Brady found out he wasn’t going to play and that came as a shock to the quarterback.

“Coach [Bill] Belichick, he’s the coach and he tells us what he wants to do,’’ said Brady yesterday during his weekly interview on WEEI. “I used to fight things probably a lot more, but now you just kind of understand why he does things and I do my best to prepare no matter what the situation is.’’

Brady said Belichick had warned everyone to be ready, but Brady then found out he would be watching from the sideline.

“We made sure we had a good week of practice, so we were ready,’’ said Brady.

Those game snaps will become more important as the preseason moves along. Brady said he’s been pleased with training camp and can see progress with the offense. And he is continuously working with Chad Ochocinco to help the receiver pick up the offense.

“I think a lot of that is just trying to get him to understand what I’m thinking so we can always be on the same page, because there’s a lot of things that happen in the game that don’t happen in practice,’’ Brady said. “You can do your best to simulate it, but at the end of the day you have to play together, and you have to practice together, and throw the ball and make mistakes so you can make corrections.

“It’s really been a crash course in that because we never have played together, and a lot of it is trying to get to the point where he’s really comfortable out there and I’m comfortable so we can play with a lot of confidence with one another.’’

Brady said he can respect the challenge Ochocinco faces.

“He’s doing as good as you could hope,’’ Brady said. “It’s like an entirely new language. What he was doing in Cincinnati is very different than the way we do it here. It’s really a crash course. We’ve been at it for just over 2 1/2 weeks. You have to basically get rid of all the information he had to learn going on his 10th year and learn something new in two weeks.

“It’s certainly not easy, but he’s a hard worker, he wants to do it, he’s very competitive and it’s fun to be out there with him because he wants the ball, he wants to practice, and he wants to be out there and do it right because he really wants us to be able to rely on him.’’

Revolving door The number of free agents to visit Gillette Stadium recently may seem like a quest to overhaul certain positions, but that isn’t the case, according to Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ director of player personnel.

The latest players in for workouts included wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and safeties Darren Sharper and Renaldo Hill. The Patriots want to evaluate any players who may work in their system.

“I actually went back and checked our notes from last year [and] we’ve worked out the same amount of players at this time in training camp this year than we have in years past,’’ Caserio said. “We’re doing our homework. We’re trying to stay prepared. We’re trying to gather as much information as we can on the players, and if there’s an opportunity that makes sense for us, we’ll pursue it.’’

There has been plenty of attention on safeties. Brandon Meriweather has received mixed reviews and yesterday watched second-year safety Sergio Brown take a number of reps with the first team.

Caserio was asked about Meriweather’s progress since the Patriots drafted him in the first round in 2007 out of Miami.

“Brandon has been a productive player since he’s been here,’’ Caserio said. “He’s had production, he’s got a lot of experience in our system, he’s a talented player. Is it perfect? No. Is he working hard to get better? That’s the most important thing.

“I think the biggest thing is each year is kind of its own entity, so the most important thing is you’re just looking for improvement over the course of time and I think Brandon has improved since he’s been here and continues to improve.’’

Safety Patrick Chung said players can’t worry about who comes in for a workout.

“I don’t think about it,’’ Chung said. “I’m out here trying to figure out what we’re doing right now with the guys we have. We’re not worried about that stuff. We’re out here trying to get better.’’

Attendance report Rain forced the Patriots to practice inside the Dana-Farber Field House for the first time in training camp.

Among the players not seen at practice were defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth; receiver Taylor Price; linebackers Christian Cox, Jeff Tarpinian, and Brandon Spikes; offensive lineman Ryan Wendell; and linebacker/defensive end Jermaine Cunningham.

Receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate were not in uniform but were among those working out on the side. Others were running back Shane Vereen, safeties James Sanders and Josh Barrett, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, and defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace. Running back Kevin Faulk and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon remain on the physically unable to perform list.

Light speeding up Offensive lineman Matt Light is increasing his participation at practice as he took part in team drills . . . Offensive lineman Zach Roth returned to practice after being carted off the field Saturday . . . Receiver Darnell Jenkins appeared to injure his lower leg in practice. He left the field and remained on the sideline for the rest of the session . . . The Patriots will practice today beginning at 10:30 a.m. The session will be open to the public.

Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @monwalker.

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