The Patriots might be 8-1, but they still have work to do.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady expressed those sentiments on Tuesday, stating that the team’s record so far “means nothing” and they need to “execute” against the competition that awaits them. In a conference call, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added to that and said given the team’s 20-37 loss to the Ravens, they surely have things they need to work on.
“Obviously, we didn’t win that game and we made plenty of mistakes and didn’t capitalize on all of our opportunities,” McDaniels said. “So there’s a lot for us to work on in terms of technique and fundamentals, regardless of whether we’re playing fast or not. Ultimately, that’s what we’re after is trying to play our cleanest games of the year as we move forward.
With that, McDaniels did give a “positive” update on rookie N’Keal Harry, who could seriously impact the Patriots’ offensive struggles when he returns from an ankle injury. He also touched on the challenges of coaching the offense and what it’s like to coach Brady.
On the status of N’Keal Harry:
“[Harry] continues to make progress, works hard, and each week is an opportunity that we’re trying to add more in terms of the things he can do, the things he’s comfortable doing, the things we’re comfortable with him doing within our offense. I think it’s all positive. Everybody’s working hard for the same goal, which is to have him contribute and help us win games moving forward. Nothing other than that to add to it.”
Navigating the change of personnel within the Patriots’ offense:
“The players change every year and the schedule is different, and sometimes we either lose coaches, or change some people on our staff,” he said. “But, the challenge every year for coaches and the way we look at it is really very much the same. You have a group of players that is going to be active each week and you have a defense that has a certain scheme or style play, and strengths and weaknesses with their personnel, and your job as a coach is to try to move the football and score points with what’s available to you in terms of personnel, and to try to figure out what schemes you can utilize and perform well in order to make first downs, and score touchdowns and not turn the ball over.”
“This week, the challenge is the Eagles, which is a significant one. The personnel we have available to us may or may not be exactly the same as it has been every other week of the season based on injury and availability. You’re always trying to figure out scheme and what you want to do against what they do to try to minimize the defense’s opportunity to make negative plays and try to maximize your efficiency on offense every time you take the field. I look at it very much the challenge being the same each year, each week. If you look at it like that it’s a pretty consistent cycle. There’s some variables in it that change, but there’s also a lot that stays the same and for us the goal is the same: try to figure out how to use our players and put them in the best position to be successful against the defense that we play.”
Coaching Tom Brady and calling the game on the line of scrimmage:
“When you play fast or use a no-huddle, you’ll likely make your decisions a little quicker. Not every play is lightning speed or anything like that. Like in a two-minute drill, decisions have to be made faster, calls have to get in quicker, so that you give the group on the field an opportunity to get lined up and play. Any team that’s in no-huddle, any staff or any coaching staff or any play-caller, you have to understand the nature of doing that. If time is an issue or if you’re choosing to try to expedite your operation, then your decisions have to come faster.”
“Tommy’s been in our system a long time, so there’s certainly times when he may see something and have the ability to try to get us in a better situation. “
The Patriots take on the Eagles on Sunday.