September 25, 2013

Brady blames himself for Patriots' red-zone woes

The Patriots may be 3-0 but it's not because of what they've done inside the 20-yard line.

The Associated Press

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) runs a a drill during a stretching and drills session before practice begins at the NFL football team's facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.

AP Photo / Stephan Savoia

"I anticipate being 100 percent shortly. I don't know when, but I'm getting closer," he said, before adding that he didn't know if he would have to deal with any residual issues from the injury for the rest of the season.

Gronkowski's return would have a bigger impact on the red-zone offense. He leads the NFL with 29 red-zone touchdowns since arriving in 2010.

But he's coming back from several surgeries, and Belichick said, "I don't know" what impact Gronkowski would have in the red zone when he returns.

Brady has a pretty good idea about what the 6-foot-6, 265-pound star with excellent hands can do there.

"He's just a big target and he's got a great catch radius," Brady said. "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. The guys that are out there are plenty capable. I'm plenty capable of getting the ball into tight spots and making the plays."

But it can get crowded.

"There are 22 guys, if you're inside the 5, within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage," he said. "Guys aren't open for very long down there. You have to make the plays when they're there. When you have a great opportunity like we had last week, you have to take advantage."

 

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