On Wednesday afternoon, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick went into detail about when risks taken in practice can be beneficial for a quarterback. Though the question was initially targeted in regards to second-year signal caller Ryan Mallett, Belichick's answer was reflective on the position as a whole.
Quarterback Tom Brady, speaking to reporters after Wednesday's practice, addressed the idea of pushing the limits in practice and Belichick's openness to doing so.
"He's open to, you know, you don't wanna come out here and throw a bunch of interceptions," he said. "But at the same time, you don't wanna, it's not a game, you wanna install things, and see how they work and try to give guys an opportunity to go up and catch the ball and make plays on the ball. You probably do some things this time of the year that you wouldn't normally do, but at the same time you're trying to make good decisions, read the coverage and get the ball to the right guy."
Taking risks can lead to mistakes on the field, something Brady says is an important learning tool for all quarterbacks.
"A lot of times you learn from your mistakes. You know, you gotta make the mistakes to learn from them," he said. "And you never know how tight a window is until you throw it, and it was too tight. You try to force a ball into certain areas and then you learn from it, you say, 'I can't do that.' You install new plays and you try to run them over and over and you try to identify all the problems where they come up and then really make good decisions.
"We're out here running a ton of plays every day, 75, 80 plays a day," he continued. "Believe me, they're not all perfect, there's a lot of learning every day in a lot of the situational stuff that we do. All of it is a good learning experience, whether Ryan or Brian are in there taking the snap, I'm paying attention to see what I would do if I was in there and vice versa. And that's the only way to play football, you can't sit here and only concentrate when you're in. You gotta learn from every day on the field, every rep in practice, mentally and then physically when you get a chance to go out and do it, you gotta try to execute it as best you can."
Brady cited the interception he threw to safety Patrick Chung toward the close of Tuesday's practice as an example of a mistake turned into an opportunity to learn.
"Yeah that's part of what we're talking about. We're talking about end-of-game plays and trying to see what mix of plays you're going to run," he said. "And the interesting thing about training camp is there's always going to be a bad play on the play, cause it's offense against defense. You're not going to come out of too many of these practices where the offense does things 100 percent or vice versa with the defense. We make our fair share of plays, they make their fair share of plays, and you try to learn really on both sides."