Brady expresses faith in Ochocinco, despite growing pains

Tom Brady has seen the frustration on Chad Ochocinco's face, but he believes it's just a matter of time before his new teammate catches on to the New England Patriots' offense.

Brady, in fact, said during a radio interview Monday on WEEI-AM that he has very little doubt in the wide receiver.

"He is (coming along), and he's been a great player for a long time also," Brady said of Ochocinco, a six-time Pro Bowl pick whom the Patriots acquired from the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. "I know, just in talking to him, he gets frustrated when things don't go well for him ... He's racking his brain, 'Why do I feel this way, why do I feel that way?' He and I, we're always in communication. I have a lot of confidence in Chad as a competitor.

"In the short time that I've been with him, he's really fun to be around. He really loves playing the game. He's going to be an exciting player, I've got no doubt about that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has seen steady improvement in Ochocinco.

"Absolutely, without a doubt he has made a lot of strides with the offense with the time he has been here. We've thrown a lot at him, and there is still a ways to go," Belichick told WEEI. "I think getting open, catching the ball, working on timing with the quarterback in the passing game, coordination with the other receivers and so forth -- the passing game is so dependent on that, and as a unit, we have to do a better job. Chad is working hard and getting better."

In the wake of Saturday's sour 34-10 preseason loss to the Detroit Lions, Brady downplayed comments by former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who said the team needs to learn how to win when their quarterback has a bad day, according to the radio station.

"I love Tedy," Brady said. "He's a great friend and was one of the greatest teammates we've ever had. ... Look, if a quarterback plays bad, it's for hard any team to win. If the quarterback plays mediocre, of course you can win games. I mean, there's not many times a quarterback can throw three interceptions and you win the game. The quarterback needs to play good.

"I certainly try to go out there and expect to perform at a very high level, you know, every single game. When I don't, it's extremely frustrating for me. That's why for a day and a half, all I do is think about the game, whether it's a preseason game or not. When you don't play to the level that you think you're capable, you rack your brain play after play (thinking), 'Why did I do that? What am I doing? What do I have to do better?' There is an awareness created by a team to go out and play better."

Brady didn't dismiss the problems against the Lions, but he attempted to put the Patriots' performance in perspective.

"It's not a regular-season loss, it doesn't count in the standings, but it identifies a lot of things we need to do better," Brady said. "The game is certainly important, the preseason game, but we're glad that game didn't count toward the regular-season standings. We're going to go out there and have a good week this week and go certainly play a lot better this weekend."

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