BOSTON (AP) – Joey Galloway caught passes from 18 different quarterbacks in his 14 pro seasons. Now he has a chance to catch them from just one.

Tom Brady.

“I haven’t had real quarterback stability in many of the places where I’ve been,” Galloway said Friday, one day after signing with the New England Patriots. “With Tom Brady being the guy here, absolutely, I am looking forward to that.”

Brady became the guy again when the Patriots decided he had recovered sufficiently from a knee injury to trade Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs three weeks ago. Cassel took over when Brady was sidelined for the season midway through the first quarter of the first game last year.

On Thursday, the Patriots signed Galloway, who was released last month by Tampa Bay. His 15.7 yards per catch is the best among all active receivers with 300 or more catches.

In second place? Randy Moss, Galloway’s new teammate.

“I do hope that we can create some matchup problems for opposing defenses,” Galloway said on a conference call. “I do think that we will be explosive whether it’s from where I’m at, or from Randy, or (Wes) Welker, or any of the other guys.”

Moss caught an NFL record 23 touchdown passes in 2007 and 11 more in 2008. Welker’s 112 catches tied for the NFL lead in 2007 and his 111 were second in 2008. The Patriots also signed former Philadelphia wide receiver Greg Lewis in the offseason after he caught just 19 passes with the Eagles last season.

Galloway is likely to replace Jabar Gaffney as the third receiver after Gaffney signed with the Denver Broncos.

And he feels fine again after a foot injury limited him to nine games and 13 receptions last year with the Buccaneers.

“It was frustrating, of course, but more frustrating was the way the team finished at the end of the season, missing the playoffs,” Galloway said. “There are always going to be injuries. I’ve dealt with a few in my career and last year’s was just one of those years that once the injury made me miss some games, it just turned into a long season.”

But what keeps him going at the age of 37 after catching 682 passes for 10,710 yards and 77 touchdowns in five years with Seattle, four with Dallas and the last five with Tampa Bay?

“I guess the same thing that kept me going at 24 and 26 and 28. It’s that I love to compete,” Galloway said. “This is my profession. Nothing has changed for me over the years. I have the same drive. I have the same focus. As long as a new challenge is in front of me, and I physically and mentally feel very good, then I look forward to it.”

He also visited the NFL champion Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills. Both teams are set at quarterback with Ben Roethslisberger in Pittsburgh and Trent Edwards in Buffalo, with new wide receiver Terrell Owens.

“Once I was released, my goal entering free agency was that I would love to have the chance to play for a team that could win it all and had some stability at the quarterback position,” he said. “Once I was contacted by Coach (Bill) Belichick, I was very excited about that opportunity.”

According to Stats Inc., he caught passes in Seattle from Warren Moon (94), Rick Mirer (76), John Friesz (59), Jon Kitna (52) and Gino Torretta (2); in Dallas from Quincy Carter (96), Chad Hutchinson (26), Ryan Leaf (10), Anthony Wright (8), Clint Stoerner (6), Randall Cunningham (4), Brad Johnson (1) and running back Aveion Cason (1), and in Tampa Bay from Chris Simms (66), Brian Griese (61), Jeff Garcia (53), Bruce Gradkowski (38), Tim Rattay (16), and Luke McCown (13)

“Stability at quarterback has always been something that I’ve hoped for and looked for in my decision-making,” Galloway said. “Once the opportunity came to have a chance to play with Tom Brady, then I don’t think you can do any better than that.”

AP-ES-03-20-09 1741EDT


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