FOXBOROUGH ó It's been remarkably easy to get into Tom Brady's doghouse.
All you have to do is drop a couple of passes, line up wrong, or run the wrong route. It's that simple. So simple, that things have gotten to the point in which his otherwise talented teammates, who understand his demand for greatness, are often hard pressed to live up the standard.
That's the cost of playing for the Patriots. And if Brandon LaFell, newly signed this offseason on a three-year deal for $9 million, is to be successful, he has to get on the same page with Brady as soon as possible.
"I think weíve been getting better each and every day," LaFell said of their relationship. "And I want to continue to do that. I want to continue to build this chemistry so we can gel right now instead of trying to wait until training camp and gel. And Iím glad that everybodyís here right now for OTAs because weíre getting better."
LaFell made at least one spectacular catch in Patriots practice Thursday, showing at least that the talented receiver can handle the elements while still getting up to speed.
"Iíve learned a lot," LaFell said. "But Iím not nowhere where I need to be."
He's going from a numbers-based system to code word system, so the learning curve is steep. And he's putting pressure on himself right now to learn the playbook so there's no reason for him to not be on the field when the games come.
"Itís very important. Because the quicker I can learn this offense, the quicker I can go out there and be allowed to play fast, doing what Iím doing," he said. "Instead of now, Iím kind of playing half speed because Iím thinking so much. So the quicker I can learn this offense, the better it would be for me to get on the field and help this team."
In the long-term, LaFell points to Patriots cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as possibly another reason why the Patriots' overall passing attack will be better this year.
"Revis is, he's a guy that's seen it all. So none of your tricks youíre going to do are going to work on him," LaFell said. "And then Browner, heís a larger guy, long arms, real physical. So going against those guys every day, I think I can speak for me and a couple of other guys, their guys are making us better. I think if we can go and face these guys and continue to get better, weíll be able to see anybody in the league."