This appears to be the final chapter in the long, hot and eventful summer of Antonio Brown. While it is true that the autumn and winter could come with more drama for Antonio Brown and the Patriots, however, Bill Belichick has a reputation for taking talented players of questionable character and excelling with them.
For example, Rob Gronkowski was never the quiet, reserved player so often associated with the Patriots way of life. Josh Gordon will be lining up opposite Brown this very season. There were question marks over how Randy Moss and Belichick would get along. Going back even further, a younger Belichick was defensive coordinator to Lawrence Taylor, Taylor of course being infamous for his off the field partying and drug use. This will not be Belichick’s first rodeo. There is a good chance that the ‘do your job’ mentality will reach Brown via osmosis, Jon Gruden did keep reiterating that Brown was the hardest working player he’d ever come across.
On the field, Brown will not be able to play Sunday night against the Steelers. Although going forward, it is obvious that Brown will feature heavily in the Patriots offence. The Pats skill position starters look something like this:
- QB: Tom Brady
- RB: Sony Michel, James White
- WR: Antonio Brown
- WR: Josh Gordon
- WR: Julian Edelman
- TE: Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, Lance Kendricks
This Patriots offensive roster was already an improvement over last season’s. Going from Chris Hogan, who it was physically impossible to get open last year, to Antonio Brown is a supernova level upgrade. Brown will be joining a receiver corps made up of Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, rookie first rounder N’Keal Harry, veteran Demaryius Thomas and the underrated Phillip Dorsett. The Gronkowski sized hole in this offence just got a whole lot smaller.
It is a strong belief in the NFL that if you’re staying the same then you’re getting worse. It would have been easy for Belichick, Kraft, Brady, all the others at Foxborough to sit back and enjoy conquering the NFL for the sixth time. The Patriots taking on AB is incredibly symbolic of their undying devotion to self-improvement.
I am fully confident that Belichick will be able to get the best out of Brown. A fully healthy, motivated and ‘DO YOUR JOB’ infused Antonio Brown is scary. It looks like we’re all in for another year of Patriot glory.