FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the notable takeaways from the first day of New England Patriots mandatory minicamp on Tuesday was how veteran tight end Scott Chandler was dialed in with quarterback Tom Brady before Chandler left late with an injury.
Chandler held the right side of his body as he visited head trainer Jim Whalen on the sideline with about 15 minutes remaining in practice, but he didn't seem concerned afterward.
"I think I'm OK," he said.
Chandler's connection with Brady appeared to be part of the coaching staff's design in the practice, as they split the team up on two fields and ran 11-on-11 drills at the same time. Chandler was the top tight end with Brady, with Danny Amendola the top receiver. Meanwhile, No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got to work with top tight end Rob Gronkowski and top receiver Julian Edelman.
Chandler was catching most everything thrown in his direction, including one delivery in the back left-hand corner of the end zone to cap off one segment of 11-on-11 drills. The 6-foot-7 Chandler snared the ball over his head, reaching up over an undersized defensive back to take advantage of his long reach.
After practice, Chandler was asked about his growing connection with Brady, which was also seen in low-speed drills when there was no defense on the field and Brady called out his name to let him know he'd be looking in his direction. The two spent time talking on the sideline as well.
"I still think there is a lot of room to grow there, and a lot to learn," Chandler said. "But it's coming along. ... We try to take a step forward every day."