LaFell caught a 4-yard pass in the end zone from backup Jimmy Garoppolo early in the second quarter. He was targeted three times and finished with two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown.
"He keeps making more plays," quarterback Tom Brady said. "He’s understanding better and better. He’s a veteran. He’s savvy, knows how to run the routes, big body, big frame, makes a lot of tough catches."
Brady said he appreciates having a bigger receiver to throw to. LaFell is 6-3, 210 pounds.
"Absolutely," Brady said. "I've got some of the little pygmies out there like Julian [Edelman] and Danny [Amendola] and it’s nice to have a little bigger guy out there from time to time who has a bigger catch radius. Hopefully Danny and Julian don’t get mad at me for saying that. They won’t. They know I’m joking."
"Yeah, it's spinning, man," LaFell said. "It's been the craziest two or three months of my life."
The Patriots signed LaFell in March to a three-year, $9 million deal. He spent the previous four seasons with the Panthers. The hope is that he will add a dimension to the offense that is currently lacking with Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson as the top options.
He's learning the new offense on the go, which has been an adjustment.
"We're throwing in a whole lot of plays every day," LaFell said. "At the same time you're a professional, man. You gotta be able to do it. There's going to be times during the season when we come in on Monday and throw in eight plays, come back in on Thursday and throw in another eight. It's pretty much getting us prepared for the season. The harder it is now, the easier it will be on Sunday."
"It’s been a grind so far, man, trying to learn this new playbook, my new teammates.
"The quicker I can learn this offense, the quicker I can go out there and be reliable and play fast, knowing what I’m doing. Now, I’m kind of playing at half-speed because I’m thinking so much. The quicker I can learn, the better I can help this team. I’ve learned a lot, but I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet."
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