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BOSTON (CBS) – While nearly everyone in New England is worrying about the Patriots offensive line, the one man they are in charge of protecting isn’t very concerned.
At least he isn’t saying so out loud.
“They’re doing their job and I have to worry about doing my job. Part of what our team has always been built on is guys having trust in each other to do what they need to do to be competitive,” Tom Brady said Wednesday after New England’s joint practice with the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. “That’s what we’re trying to do in practice. It’s not like you come out here in the second day of practice and have every problem solved. That’s why you’re out here practicing every single day, to try to make improvements and try to get better.
“This is a tough game and it’s for the mentally tough,” said Brady. “I think you have to build on your good plays and try to eliminate the bad plays. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Brady On Offensive Line:
The New England offensive line has looked like a turnstile the first two preseason games this year, with second-year linemen Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon getting the bulk of the action in place of the injured Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer. Both Mankins and Vollmer have returned to the practice field for New England though, which should alleviate the pressure on the younger lineman.
Patriots Blog: Vollmer Activated From PUP, Hits Practice Field
Brady is never one to hold back on the field, even if it means telling (or yelling) someone where they need to line up and what they’ve done wrong. He’ll likely have to do that Friday night if his offensive line continues their preseason struggles, but it won’t be his top concern.
“That’s the role of the coach too as well, to get those guys prepared and kick them in the butt when that’s what they need to happen. Part of the quarterback’s job is to lead the team and lead when we’re out there on the field. At the same time I’m out there thinking what I need to do,” said Brady. “You trust that those guys are doing what they need to do, because you can’t do anybody else’s job.”
“The guys that are out there, that’s who is out there. Whoever’s out there, we have to make it happen,” said Brady. “Our job is to score a bunch of points and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Still, it has to be in the back of Brady’s mind that Matt Light is now gone, meaning it will be the still wet-behind-the-ears Solder in charge of protecting his blind spot this season.
But assistant head coach and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia came to Solder’s defense on Wednesday. He isn’t worried about the growing pains on the O-line, and reminded people of the tough time Light had when he took over for Bruce Armstrong.
“Did any of you think that it was going to be [easy]? Did you think he had any problems with it to start with? Well, hell ya. They all [have] problems,” Scarnecchia said of the Light-to-Armstrong transition in 2001. “It was as painful as it could ever be [with Light]. Just like anything, he got better and became a really good player, ‘one that you can’t replace.’”
“I think Nate Solder is a better player today than he was all of last year, so you figure that out. Next question,” said Scarnecchia.