In seven games with the Pats, Sanu has generated just 23 catches for 172 yards and one touchdown. The 30-year-old knows he can still become a bigger part of the offense as we move into postseason action.
“I haven’t really scratched the surface yet of what I know I can do,” he said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Getting adjusted to things people have known for years, or months, you have to catch up. It’s a lot of little details of things. I’ve been getting right up to speed. It’s just little things you can’t teach; they just have to be done. It’s the difference between knowing and doing.”
Sanu generated 10 catches for 81 yards and his lone score in his second game with the Patriots, in a loss to Baltimore. Outside of that game, he hasn’t earned more than 24 yards or 4 catches in any of his other tilts with Tom Brady.
An ankle injury seemed to be worse than originally projected, which has led to some of Sanu’s struggles. He’s also still trying to learn the system. Sanu said he’s digging in as best as he can to make a difference in January.
“You have no idea. It’s not something you can explain,” he said. “You put a lot of work into something, a lot of time, a lot of sacrifices, and the time you put in, you want the same result from it.”
Perhaps had Sanu ended up in San Francisco with his former coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the transition would have been easier. Alas, learning the nuances of the Patriots‘ offense and where Brady expects him to be every play takes time.
“Our system is different than the ones he’s played in before, so he’s done a great job of trying to acclimate to what that terminology is and what his role is each week. He is still continuing to grow in our foundation,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “I’m happy with what he’s doing, the direction we’re headed, and the progress hopefully we can continue to make with him. That’s a big thing for us moving forward.”
With a playoff bye coming with a victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, there is still time for it to click for Sanu in New England this season. Given the history of Patriots receivers making big plays in the playoffs, it should shock no one if, in a key moment, Sanu came through and washed away weeks of frustration.