Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brady says he's a main culprit for red zone woes


The AFC East currently boasts the best and worst red zone offenses in the NFL. The New England Patriots are one of them.

And that's not a good thing.

The Patriots are converting red zone trips into touchdowns at a 30.77 percent rate, a league low. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady recognizes having Rob Gronkowski on the field would help but says he won't make excuses.

"He’s just a big target and he’s got a great catch radius," Brady said Monday. "He really hasn’t been out there this year. Hopefully at some point when he’s back, he can play a role. When he’s not out there, look, we have to count on the other guys to do it. I know we haven’t been great in the red area this year, but it’s no excuse."

After New England went 2-for-5 in the red zone against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, Brady assured the pass-catchers he has to work with now "are plenty capable" of getting it done inside the 20-yard line and that it equally falls on himself and the running game.

"We’ve been practicing it quite a bit,"Brady said. "We’ve definitely left some points on the board, just poor execution. I’ve been one of the main culprits. Hopefully I try to improve that."

The Patriots finished 2012 with the third-most efficient red zone offense, converting on 67.5 trips. The Miami Dolphins currently lead the league in efficiency at 87.5.

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