While Tom Brady famously observed a four-game suspension at the start of this season, the quarterback was barred from visiting the New England Patriots’ facilities and even contacting his teammates or coaches. Despite being essentially banned from any NFL interactions during that time, Brady has somehow began his delayed season on a surgical rampage, completing 57 of 75 passes (76.0 percent) for 782 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Boston Globe reporter Ben Volin explained how Brady stayed fresh during his time away from the team. The 39-year-old quarterback found a passing partner in former Dartmouth wideout Ryan McManus.
McManus, 23, is the third-most productive receiver in Dartmouth history, finishing his collegiate career with 172 catches for 2,268 yards and 11 touchdowns. He wasn’t paid for practicing with Brady, and still made a 2-hour drive to the Boston area to frequently get in work with the four-time Super Bowl champion.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass on,” McManus told the Globe.
Brady had nothing but kind words to say about McManus during his Monday morning WEEI appearance.
“He was just great guy and he helped me out a lot. He kind of fits the mold of the Patriots receivers: He’s smart, he comes from a great school and he’s disciplined. He had great hands. I know he was in for a tryout with the Patriots, that’s why it worked out so well, because he actually knew some of the things that we were doing,” Brady said. “I certainly will keep in touch with him if I ever need to work out again with him.”
Brady was asked why he likes to work with only one wide receiver at a time, as he’s done with Wes Welker and Julian Edelman in previous offseasons.
“You can just focus on those individual routes and timing, because I like to take some times between throws, too, to kind of evaluate my mechanics and so forth,” Brady said. “It’s one of the harder things for a quarterback when there’s seven receivers and let’s start throwing and there’s one quarterback.
“You become like a pitching machine, you start losing your mechanics because your legs are getting tired and you get bad habits and you’re actually getting worse. I have a goal when I go out there and that’s to improve and you can really only improve if you’re doing things the right way. When you practice, you’re going out there to get better.”
Perhaps working with Brady will help keep McManus’ NFL dream alive.