Patriots react to release of Antonio Brown, including how team remained focused on Jets

Ryan Hannable
September 22, 2019 - 6:15 pm
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FOXBOROUGH -- While Antonio Brown was released Friday afternoon, Sunday following the 30-14 win over the Jets was the first time the media has spoken with the team since the move was made.

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Bill Belichick set the tone, saying he wanted to focus on the game when asked about the move at his postgame press conference.

"Yeah, we'll just focus on today's game," he said.

Inside the locker room, the players really didn't have much to say, either.

“It is what it is. I mean I can’t really speak on it," wide receiver Phillip Dorsett said. "Honestly, I don’t want to speak on it. It’s a situation. It is what it is.”

Even with the potential distraction, the team was able to go out and beat the Jets to improve to 3-0 on the year.

“Mental toughness," safety Duron Harmon said when asked how the team was able to put the move behind them. "We talk about ignoring the noise and believe that when you ignore the noise and you just focus on what is in house, focusing on your opponent and focus on how you’re going to win, you win. That is what it came to. It was a tough week. Obviously, a lot of media. A lot of stories, but the only thing we could focus on was the Jets and I think it showed today."

Dorsett added: “We’re all about ball. We’re all about playing football. We can’t really worry about the things we can’t control, so obviously we have to control what we can. We can’t control that. I am glad we came out here and handled business today. We came out with a W.”

As for the big picture, the team will rely on their saying, 'Do your job."

“I think you just have to live in the moment and operate in the moment," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "No matter what situations you’re faced with in life as an individual, or in this case as a football team, you just control the things you can control. Try and focus on positive things and as a professional keep trying to do your job. I think we have always tried to do that around here. It’s been no different here [for] the start of this season and we’ll continue to try and do that moving forward.”

Sunday morning there were varying reports on how the team took the release.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport said there players who privately voiced displeasure with the move, while Mike Giardi, also of NFL Media, said there was a sense of "relief" inside the organization.

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