Patriots coaches mum on plans for Brown this week vs. Miami

  • New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

Associated Press
Published: 9/10/2019 5:47:41 PM

FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick isn’t concerned about Antonio Brown’s past.

He’s even less concerned about anyone outside the Patriots organization who questions whether Brown can fit into New England’s system without being disruptive.

That’s because he remembers hearing similar sentiments about another outspoken receiver he traded for more than a decade ago.

“It’s the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said Tuesday.

Moss, who clashed with the coaching staffs in both Minnesota and Oakland before being shipped to New England in 2007, flourished with the Patriots. Moss, who was Tom Brady’s chief deep threat that season, had a career-high 23 touchdown receptions and 1,493 receiving yards on his way to earning All-Pro honors for the fourth and final time in his career.

Brown is coming off his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but has yet to be on a Super Bowl-winning team.

How much the Patriots plan to use him this week when they visit division foe Miami remains to be seen.

“We think he’ll help our team, but until we start working with him ... and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop we’ll just have to see how that goes,” Belichick said.

While New England’s players have yet to practice this week and officially had Tuesday off, Belichick said they were “going through information with (Brown) like we would any new player.”

A big part of that acclimation process will be spending time with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who like Belichick, has witnessed Brown’s ability to exploit defenses as a member of the Steelers.

But McDaniels was adamant that he won’t change anything about his play-calling approach this week just to get Brown involved.

“We’ll see how it goes as we go forward, but certainly we’ve always had the same concept in terms of our run game, pass game, our offense in general,” McDaniels said.

“We’re going to try to throw it where we’re supposed to throw it and we don’t try to force the ball anywhere or to anybody because that’s not necessarily the way we do it.”

Brady said earlier this week that while they were “all excited to have him,” Brown’s late arrival does give him the same challenge that receivers Josh Gordon and Phillip Dorsett faced when they joined the team.

“I think everybody’s excited to add great players. It helps everybody when you have great players that are sharing the burden of a tough football season,” Brady said. “But, we haven’t had a training camp together ... so you’ve got to force a lot of information.

“All I could say is we’re just going to work as hard as we possibly can to get up to speed as quickly as possible.”

PATS WORK TRADE WITH RIVAL JETS — A person with direct knowledge of the deal says the New York Jets have acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the teams had not yet announced the trade.

Thomas gives the Jets’ receiving group a boost. He and coach Adam Gase were together in Denver from 2010-14, when Gase was the wide receivers coach and later the Broncos’ offensive coordinator.

ESPN first reported the deal — the first trade between the teams since Belichick took over as the Patriots’ coach in 2000. The last trade between the teams was actually when Belichick left the Jets for the Patriots, and New York got a first-round pick.

Thomas became expendable for the Patriots when they signed Antonio Brown over the weekend.

The 31-year-old Thomas has 688 receptions for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. He played for the Broncos from 2010 until being traded to Houston last October for a seventh-round draft pick. He tore his Achilles late last season, was released by the Texans in February and signed with the Patriots in April.




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