Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning and talked about the team new tight ends, who provided the top highlights in Thursday's preseason victory over the Falcons.
Rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski each caught a touchdown pass in Atlanta, but Brady warned people not to get too excited. Said Brady: "I caution everybody. These guys have never taken a regular-season snap. Everyone loves having them out there. Believe me, they wouldn't be out there with that first group if coach [Bill] Belichick and the offensive coaches didn't have confidence that they'd be able to do what they're asked to do. There's no doubt that both of those guys, even though they're very young, both in age and experience level, they do have a great feel for the game. ... That's the kind of player that works in our system."
Brady also raved about the play of free agent signee Alge Crumpler, whose blocking helped key the running game. "Alge is really a dominating blocker," Brady said. "He hip-checks guys. He kind of gets his arm underneath the shoulder pads, he just kind of takes one arm and throws them. There's not too many tight ends in the league that can do that. Dan Graham was one of them, who was really a dominating blocker. He was huge in our running game."
Last year, the Patriots came under criticism at times for offensive predictability. Brady does not agree with that assessment. "I think if there's one thing we never are, it's predictable," he said. "We have a very challenging offense in terms of where we line players up, the plays we run, the amount of plays that we have, the complexity of the offense. By no means do we have an easy offense for people just to come in and learn. That's why I think it takes a certain kind of offensive player to play in our system, because it's a very challenging system. I think what we didn't do [last season], whatever we were running, we weren't running it very well."
Asked if he was watching HBO's "Hard Knocks" training camp documentary about the Jets, Brady said: "Honestly, I haven't turned it on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show. ... I'm sure it's great TV. I'm glad people are liking it. But that's just something that I have no interest in watching. I'd love to say a lot of mean things, but I'd rather not do that, either."
Asked if Belichick would ever allow the "Hard Knocks" cameras into Patriots camp, Brady said only if the coach was headed toward retirement. "That would be tough," Brady said. "It may have to be his final season of coaching. If you ever hear that he's allowed that to happen, I wouldn't think there'd be another year after that. He hasn't told me. Believe me, I have no inside information on that. But I think coach Belichick has worked pretty hard over the years to run his practices the right way, his meetings the right way, and I don't think he really wants to give that information away."