Tom Brady reacts to new wide receiver Eric Decker: 'Hopefully he can add something to the group'

Ryan Hannable
August 14, 2018 - 4:14 pm

FOXBORO -- With the release of wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Jordan Matthews, the Patriots needed to add some depth to the position, which is why they signed veteran wide out Eric Decker.

The 31-year-old has had an up-and-down start to his tenure with the team, as while he's made a few plays, he's also been victim of several easy drops. 

Speaking following practice Tuesday, Tom Brady gave his assessment of his newest receiver.

“The thing about him is I have watched him play a lot of football over the years," Brady said. "I feel like he’s been on the opposing sideline a lot. When we’re game planning for him, I have watched a lot of him. I think he’s always been on great offenses. He has to use his skill set, the one he’s learned and used for a long time. He knows how to get open. Now it is just about learning about what we do and how we do it, which is always a little different with how other teams may do it.

"He’s worked hard. He’s been out here every day. You can tell he’s a real pro and hopefully he can add something to the group. Every role is there to be taken. There’s different opportunities out there at every position. If you can play a role and be consistent, dependable and make the plays then I am sure Coach is going to put you out there.”

Before practice, Bill Belichick noted there is an element of getting acclimated to a new system when it comes to the evaluation of a new player.

"I think you always have to account for the transition of a player that joins your team at some point during the season, in training camp or midseason, wherever it is," he said. "Again, I don’t think there's any set formula on that. We just evaluate it and gauge it as the more time you have the easier it is to make the right decision. The more you know about the player and his fit on the team and his role and so forth and how well he can do it. Sometimes that takes time. We only have the time that we have, so whatever it is, it is. We just have to make the most of it. We'd like to have more in all situations, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes you have to make a decision on less information than you'd like to have."

It would appear Decker is battling with Riley McCarron and Braxton Berrios for one of the final roster spots at receiver.

Related: Phillip Dorsett suffers injury in Tuesday's practice