FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick stepped to the podium on Wednesday, faced down a crowded Patriots media workroom loaded with news reporters from outlets he doesn't often see, and he spoke about the Dolphins.
"Very good group of skill players," was one portion of his opening remarks while the elephant in the room lingered.
It had come to light on Tuesday night that Antonio Brown was accused of rape and sexual assault in a lawsuit filed by Brown's former trainer in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Brown has denied the allegations through his lawyer, and he also reportedly plans to countersue.
The Patriots released a statement just before midnight on Tuesday night saying they take allegations of sexual assault "very seriously," adding they would not have further comment while the league investigated the matter.
Belichick did, though, touch on Brown's situation eventually in his opening remarks in Wednesday's press conference.
"Antonio and his representatives have made statements so I'm not going to be expanding on any of those," Belichick said. "They are what they are. We've looked into the situation. We're taking it very seriously, all the way through the organization. I'm sure there are questions but I'm not going to get into any discussion about that today."
Belichick then fielded several questions about the matter.
Was he aware of the allegations before the Patriots signed Brown?
"I'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have already been given," Belichick replied. He added, "When we know more, we'll say more."
Belichick did acknowledge that Brown would be at practice on Wednesday. Asked if he would play against the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday, Belichick said, "We're taking it one day at a time, just like we always do."
"I appreciate all the questions," Belichick added after fielding more follow-ups. "What's been said has been said."
Belichick would be at the podium for about four minutes in all. When it was posed to him that Brown's situation might be a "distraction" to the team, he said the Patriots were "working on Miami."
The last set of queries he received were about his personal interactions with Brown. What had Brown said to him about the subject, if anything?
"I'm done with that," he said. "OK? Anything else on Miami? Any other questions?"
When the reporter followed up, Belichick said, "I just answered that question."
"Actually, you didn't," the reporter replied.
"Actually, I did," Belichick said.
The Patriots will practice Wednesday afternoon. Reporters will have access to the practice for a few minutes beginning at 12:50 p.m.
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