One noticeable trait in the Patriots’ offense this season has been the uptick in downfield passing. Tom Brady, who was known for so long as the master of a horizontal offense, has helped to reshape the Patriots into a vertical attack.
In a Monday morning interview on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan, Brady came as close as he has to acknowledging the trend. While prefacing his response by noting that the Patriots are “always trying to work on that,” he offered an interesting quote:
I think that’s been a concerted effort by our entire offense of trying to make more explosive plays in the pass game. Sometimes your offense is built differently. We actually have some guys now that can really get down the field, so that becomes more of a point of emphasis. I mean the way Brandin runs, the way that Chris Hogan runs, the way that Phillip Dorsett runs, they’re very fast. You need to be able to take advantage of their skill set.
Brady also included a reference to one of his original Patriots receivers:
I mean, when we had David Patten, we were throwing it deep. But David Patten didn’t run a lot of short routes. I would say that Brandin Cooks in general doesn’t run a lot of short routes. Everyone has a different role. If we can get by you, I think that’s a great place to throw the ball. And if we can’t, then you have to figure out ways to throw it underneath.