Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brady on personnel turnover: 'I'm used to it'


Four of Tom Brady's top-five receivers from last season are off the current roster, and the one who is still around -- Rob Gronkowski -- likely won't be catching passes until the beginning of the regular season.

But if there's one quarterback who can adapt to a change of that magnitude, it's Brady.

"There’s quite a bit of turnover, like we all know and we’ve seen. I’m used to that," Brady told reporters Thursday. "There’s not many things that I haven’t had to deal with over the course of my time – at tight end or running back or receiver or offensive line.

"We’ll try to find a way to make it work."

While Brady has had less to work with in the past and exceeded expectations regardless, there's no doubt the rug was pulled from under him in terms of personnel.

Brady's top wideout and maybe the NFL's most productive receiver over the past six years in Wes Welker is now catching passes from Peyton Manning, and a severe dent has been put into Brady's once All-World tight end tandem of Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski. Hernandez is in jail after being convicted of murder, and Gronk's health is one of the league's biggest question marks.

Brady restructured his contract earlier this year to free up cap room for the team to work with in free agency. Yet instead of giving a well-deserved payday to Welker, Brady's most reliable weapon, the Patriots let Welker walk and replaced him with the oft-injured Danny Amendola, formerly of the St. Louis Rams.

Meanwhile, rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, along with Brady's lone familiar receiver Julian Edelman, will occupy the space left by the departed Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch. The tight end situation will be handled with some combination of Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui.

Brady will prepare the same with whoever he's given to work with.

"We have five or six weeks until our first game. We have nine practices until we go practice against Philly. I’m excited," Brady said. "We put a lot of work in this spring to see where we’re at now. Hopefully we can start building on where we left off six weeks ago."

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