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Updating Tom Brady’s big board of favorite pass catchers: Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman now solidly ensconced among all-time leaders 12.01.16 at 12:58 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski continues to move up the list of all-time receptions via Tom Brady. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski continues to move up the list of all-time receptions via Tom Brady. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

We’ve tracked Tom Brady’s big board of favorite receivers several times over the last few years, but with Rob Gronkowski continuing to move up the list and Julian Edelman landing in the top 5 this year, we figured it would be a good time to revisit the latest totals. As always, we have to point out that these are not career totals, but only catches from Brady during regular-season contests:

Most catches from Brady, regular-season games only, career
1. Wes Welker (563 catches in 78 career regular-season games with Brady)
2. Rob Gronkowski (403 catches in 86 games)
3. Julian Edelman (363 catches in 94 games)
4. Deion Branch (328 catches in 89 games)
5. Troy Brown (323 catches in 84 games)
6. Kevin Faulk (310 catches in 117 games)

7. Randy Moss (192 catches in 36 games)
8. Aaron Hernandez (175 catches in 38 games)
9. David Givens (158 catches in 53 career games with Brady)
10. David Patten (157 catches in 54 games)

Here’s the rest of the top 20:
11. Danny Amendola, 151 catches; 12. Ben Watson, 142; 13. Daniel Graham, 117; 14. Brandon LaFell, 107; 15. Shane Vereen, 106; 16. Danny Woodhead, 92; 17. James White, 65; 18. Christian Fauria, 79; 19. Brandon Lloyd, 74; 20. Antowain Smith, 64.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, targets, Tom Brady
Rob Gronkowski zeroing in on top spot of Tom Brady’s list of all-time favorite targets 10.17.16 at 12:37 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski has caught more passes from Tom Brady than anyone other than Wes Welker. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski has caught more passes from Tom Brady than anyone other than Wes Welker. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

We have tracked Tom Brady’s big board of favorite receivers several times over the last few years, but with Rob Gronkowski continuing to move up the list and Julian Edelman landing in the top 5 this year, we figured it would be a good time to revisit the latest totals. As always, we have to point out that these are not career totals, but only catches from Brady during regular-season contests:

Most catches from Brady, regular-season games only:
1. Wes Welker (563 catches in 78 career regular-season games with Brady)
2. Rob Gronkowski (391 catches in 82 games)
3. Deion Branch (328 catches in 89 games)
4. Julian Edelman (327 catches in 89 games)
5. Troy Brown (323 catches in 84 games)
6. Kevin Faulk (310 catches in 117 games)
7. Randy Moss (192 catches in 36 games)
8. Aaron Hernandez (175 catches in 38 games)
9. David Givens (158 catches in 53 career games with Brady)
10. David Patten (157 catches in 54 games)

Here’s the rest of the top 20:

11. Danny Amendola, 144 catches. 12. Ben Watson, 142. 13. Daniel Graham, 117. 14. Brandon LaFell, 107. 15. Shane Vereen, 106. 16. Danny Woodhead, 92. 17. Christian Fauria, 79. 18. Brandon Lloyd, 74. 19. James White, 65. 20. Antowain Smith, 64.

Five thoughts on the list:

1. Other than Gronkowski, the top 6 consists of only smallish, “make-you-miss” guys who had the sort of field awareness to understand what the quarterback needed and when, particularly when it came to reaching the sticks. Says something about the comfort level Brady has with some of those guys, especially Welker. Of course, in the rush to praise Gronkowski, it’s easy to dismiss Welker and his tremendous run, but it’s even more amazing to consider that Welker lost almost a full season with Brady (2008) because of the QB’s knee injury. Welker is already head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack. If the two were able to stick on another 80-catch season, it’s unfathomable what they might have been able to accomplish.

2. That being said, can Gronkowski pass Welker? Going into Week Six, he’s 172 catches off Welker’s mark. If he can finish this season with somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 catches (an eminently reachable goal, considering his slow start), that would give him 453 at the end of the 2016 season — 110 shy of Welker’s mark. If he and Brady stay healthy, he could pass Welker somewhere toward the middle of the 2018 season.

3. In such a short span (36 games, the fewest in the top 10), Moss’ numbers are ridiculous. If he had all of 2008 with Brady, and found a way to work before his 2010 trade, he could have certainly landed in the top 5.

4. Amendola has gotten off to a slow start, but he should almost certainly break into the top 10, and could climb as high as No. 9 before the end of the season. White is the latest name to land in the top 20, thanks in large part to his nice day Sunday against the Bengals. He’s one of four “third-down backs” who have reached the top 20.

5. The guys who are on the active roster now who are closest to the top 20? Running back Dion Lewis has 49 catches, while tight end Martellus Bennett is already up to 11 in two games with Brady. One guy who just missed out was Aaron Dobson — the wide receiver who was cut loose this season had 53 catches from Brady in his three seasons with New England.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
Tom Brady confirms he worked out with Wes Welker Sunday morning 09.19.16 at 8:50 pm ET
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Tom Brady called the mask Wes Welker wore the "creepiest thing" he's ever seen. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady called the mask Wes Welker wore the “creepiest thing” he’s ever seen. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Wes Welker was at Gillette Stadium on Sunday taking in the game, while also impersonating Tom Brady with a life-size mask of the quarterback in the parking lot beforehand.

Brady actually saw the mask earlier as the two were together Sunday morning.

“I saw some of those masks and I saw Wes’ — actually, I spent a little time with him Sunday morning. He showed it to me. It was probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen,” Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One’s pregame show Monday night.

The quarterback confirmed the two worked out together, but didn’t say exactly what they did.

“It was good to spend some time with him,” Brady said. “He’s been one of my best friends and we played together for a long time. It was good to be with him. He’s still got a lot of ability, so it was fun to kind of be out on the field with him.”

Brady can return from his four-game suspension on Oct. 3 as the team prepares for their Week 5 matchup in Cleveland.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Wes Welker surprises Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium tailgate with Tom Brady mask 09.18.16 at 12:56 pm ET
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Not only is Wes Welker in town to apparently throw passes to Tom Brady, he apparently he impersonated him too.

Welker surprised Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium Sunday with a Brady mask Bleacher Report first debuted last week in Arizona.

See for yourself.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Tom Brady finds someone to throw with while visiting Michigan 09.17.16 at 11:36 am ET
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Who needs to wait for Wes Welker? It looks like Tom Brady found someone to help keep his game sharp Friday night while he was at the University of Michigan. (He’s going to serve as the honorary captain for Saturday’s game against Colorado.)

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Tom Brady will throw with old buddy Wes Welker this weekend 09.16.16 at 10:26 am ET
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Wes Welker

Wes Welker

Looks like Tom Brady is going to lean on some old friends to help him stay sharp during his suspension.

The quarterback has made a connection with Wes Welker, and the two will get together and throw this weekend. Welker, who is scheduled to be in the Boston area, said he initially reached out in hopes of a dinner date. But Brady apparently had something else in mind.

“I hit him up to do dinner Saturday night. He’s like, ‘I’m going to be flying in from Ann Arbor later, but how about that morning we go throw?’” Welker told the “Joe Rose Show” on WQAM in Miami on Friday. “And I’m just sitting there, I’m like, ‘I was just thinking about dinner. But yeah, sure. I’ll get over there early and we can throw a little bit.

“It’s just funny. I’m sitting there trying to have dinner. ‘Hey, get your [expletive] up here and let’s go throw.’ I’m like, ‘Aw, jeez, man.’ He’s going to have me running like 2-minute drill in his backyard or something.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Kevin Faulk: Tom Brady could call 2 big-name former teammates to workout with him during suspension 08.01.16 at 10:05 am ET
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Kevin Faulk suggests Tom Brady could work out with Randy Moss while he's suspended. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Kevin Faulk suggests Tom Brady could work out with Randy Moss while he’s suspended. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

When Tom Brady is suspended for the first four weeks of the season he cannot have any contact with his teammates or be at the Gillette Stadium facility.

So what will he do to stay sharp?

Former teammate Kevin Faulk speculated he may call on two of his former teammates to work out with him during the month of September.

“He’s definitely going to work,” Faulk on NESN in a segment set to air Monday night. “There’s no doubt in my mind. He’s probably going to do the same regimen he’s been doing for the last how many years he’s been playing football, stay in that routine, and yes, I’m almost positive Wes Welker is going to be here. He probably will reach out to Randy (Moss), and Randy will come because Randy’s in still good shape. Real good shape.”

Welker remains a free agent after spending the end of last season with the Rams, while Moss hasn’t played since 2012 and is now an analyst with ESPN.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Kevin Faulk, Randy Moss, Tom Brady, Wes Welker
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