Tom Brady

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A frustrated Tom Brady wants more James White in Patriots offense

John Tomase
September 24, 2018 - 12:13 am

Tom Brady's frustration on Sunday night in Detroit was obvious before he stepped to the postgame podium.

There was no mistaking it once he finished talking.

"It's no way to play football," Brady told reporters in Detroit after a 26-10 shellacking at the hands of the Lions. "It's no way to execute at a very high level. We're just not doing anything well enough."

The signs of Brady's exasperation were evident throughout the night. NBC's cameras twice caught him tossing his helmet in disgust on the sidelines after failing to convert on third down. He stared daggers at rookie running back Sony Michel following an incompletion. He drew an intentional grounding penalty on a 50-yard heave to no one, a pass that suggested, "This is what happens when I have nowhere to go and no one to throw to." He threw two more of them for good measure before the game was through, including an interception.

Brady finished 14 of 26 for 133 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He hadn't thrown for so few yards in a full game since 2013.

"We're just not doing a good job," Brady said. "There's not one thing. It's everything that we need to do a better job of."

Putting this loss even remotely on the quarterback would be letting the personnel department off the hook, because Brady's weapons were nonexistent. The Lions threw as many as three defenders at tight end Rob Gronkowski, limiting him to four catches for 51 yards.

With Josh Gordon (hamstring) inactive, the Patriots dressed only three wide receivers, and Cordarrelle Patterson, Phillip Dorsett, and Chris Hogan combined for only four catches, including none by Dorsett.

Brady sounded disappointed in Dorsett on an interception by Darius Slay.

"We had a post off the play-action and I was just trying to throw it up early and Slay got his eyes on the ball faster than Phillip and Phillip couldn't adjust and (it was) kind of an easy interception," Brady said.

Brady also sounded perplexed at the relative lack of playing time for running back James White, who caught the team's lone TD, but recorded only seven touches, compared to 14 carries and three targets for Michel, who was largely ineffective.

"He had a great catch and some good runs there at the end," Brady said of White. "He's just a great player for us. You're right. He's got to be involved. Guys who can make plays, those are the ones that should be involved, and James is definitely one of them."

Help is on the way in the form of suspended wideout Julian Edelman, who returns in Week 5. But it's worth noting that Edelman hasn't played in a year and a half. It also remains to be seen what contributions the team will receive from Gordon, an incredible talent who has struggled with addiction issues and still must learn the offense.

Whatever happens moving forward, the problem won't fix itself, and Brady knows it.

"We'll see. I'm not going to make predictions," he said. "It's about hard work, it's about commitment, it's about being disciplined, it's about doing the right thing, and obviously we're not doing a great job of that. We've all got to get back to work, look at ourselves, and figure out what we need to do to help the team win."