Brandon LaFell apparently felt the same way, saying he was “shell-shocked” at OTA’s.
“From OTA to now, if I had to put it on a scale from zero to 10, I would say like an 8 now. OTAs I was shell-shocked, didn’t know what to expect. It was all new to me.”
But it doesn’t appear that LaFell will just give up, as he says he is much more comfortable now, and continues to work on gaining a solid rapport with Tom Brady. LaFell has looked very good in the Patriots first two preseason games, and as a bigger target, he will have a very good season in New England. Brady has said himself that it is nice to see a bigger body out there, specifically in the red zone. Here are a few more quotes from LaFell: (via Lee Schechter of ESPN Boston)
On playing with two great quarterbacks:
“I’m blessed going from Cam doing his things up-and-coming, real good quarterback and then I come up here with Brady. It’s great.”
On Brady’s desire to be perfect:
“He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be when running a route. Not a yard off, not a yard too deep, not a yard too short. He expects you to be exactly where he wants you to be because he’s going to put the ball placement exactly right. The more and more reps I get with this guy, getting our timing better and also he’s trying to find me more.”
On going up against his old team on Friday:
“It’s going to be a little weird, just going out there and seeing some of my old teammates, looking at those jerseys knowing I was just in those jerseys last year. But I got to do my job.”
There are high expectations for second year wideout Aaron Dobson, and once he becomes fully healthy, he may begin to overshadow LaFell’s contributions to this offense. But I guarantee LaFell will be making plays for this offense all year long. He is currently fighting with Kenbrell Thompkins to be the Pats third receiver, and while he may ultimately lose that battle, that shouldn’t take away from what he is giving to this squad.
Unlike Thompkins, LaFell is experienced, as this is his fifth year in the league, and he will have to rely on that to remain effective in Brady’s aerial attack. He knows the ins and outs of all the routes, and has slowly built a good connection with his quarterback. He is much bigger than Thompkins, which may end up being why he gets more playing time than the second year player out of Cincinnati. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are great receivers, but sometimes you simply need someone with a bigger frame.
Hopefully we will see LaFell on the receiving end of a number of Brady touchdowns throughout the 2014 season.