Bill Belichick ‘glad to have’ Antonio Brown, offers little else on new Patriots WR

Andy Hart
September 09, 2019 - 6:55 pm
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Just minutes after the Patriots officially announced the signing of wide receiver Antonio Brown Monday evening, Bill Belichick made his first public comments about adding the former All-Pro to his roster in his weekly appearance on the Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show on WEEI.

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“We’re glad to have him on the team and we’ll just take it day by day and see how it goes,” Belichick said.

Brown obviously arrives in New England after a crazy span of his career this offseason in which he was traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland, signed a new contract with more than $30 million guaranteed and then had a tumultuous summer that resulted in his release by the Raiders late last week, voiding those guarantees. Belichick was asked about his team’s ability to deal with players with off-field issues or past problems and whether those players are treated differently than everybody else in Foxborough.

“I mean everybody is different,” Belichick responded. “You add a new player to your team you look at what you need to do and try to do the best you can to get him caught up. So that’s what we’ll do.”

Belichick declined to try to compare the Patriots system and locker room with other places, especially considering he hasn’t coached anywhere but New England for two decades. He also tried to turn the conversation to his team’s impressive victory over the Steelers to open the season on Sunday night.

“Again, I have no idea what the comparison is. What’s relevant? So I can’t speak to that,” Belichick said. “But what I could speak to is, you know, it was a good win last night. Our team played well. I mean I understand you guys don’t want to talk about that but it was a solid win. I was impressed with the way our team competed against a good Steelers team. Going back to last year’s game with them, the last two years with them, it was right down to the final play, final possession. So I thought our guys did a good job of competing last night and playing a good complementary football game.”

As the conversation turned back to Brown’s arrival and unique departure from the Raiders, Belichick was asked about the criticism his team is getting for signing him after he forced his way out of Oakland. That included former Colts Hall of Fame Coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy saying that he was “disappointed” in Patriots owner Robert Kraft for signing Brown.

“I’m sure Tony Dungy, or whoever else it was, everybody’s entitled to their opinion. That’s what this country is built on,” Belichick declared.

One thing Belichick would not do is acknowledge any special excitement of adding Brown to his already impressive roster of talent, even given the receiver’s Hall of Fame resume that includes six straight years with more than 100 catches for more than 1,200 yards.

“We feel good about every player we add to our team otherwise we wouldn’t add him to our team,” Belichick said.

But Brown is really good?

“I’m not sure I’m really following you here,” Belichick said. “Why would we add a player who we didn’t think would help our team? What sense would that make?

“I’m saying every play we add…why would we add him if we didn’t think he could help us?”

Whether Belichick was excited about or not. Whether he wanted to talk much about it or not. Brown is now officially a Patriot.

Related: Report: Patriots cut 2 players, create room for Antonio Brown