Patriots

Devin McCourty: Patriots need some time to get to know Antonio Brown

Devin McCourty: Patriots need some time to get to know Antonio Brown

FOXBORO -- It's only been one practice in New England, but Antonio Brown made a quick impression in his first on-the-field action with the Patriots. 

"Looked good," said one Patriots defender after Wednesday's workout. "Good player . . . Great player." 

But that should come as no surprise. There is no question about Brown's skill level or his ability to positively impact the Patriots offense. He remains among the most talented receivers in football after six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The question is how will Brown fit in the locker room? How will he adapt to the business-like, professional atmosphere fostered at One Patriot Place? And particularly now, with a sexual assault lawsuit filed against Brown in federal court in Florida, how will he be embraced by teammates as he tries to make the transition to life with the Patriots?

"I think for the most part you only try to judge people on what you get from them," Devin McCourty said Wednesday. "You try to get to know someone. I think this is a little different. He's going through a personal situation. And personally none of us really know him yet. We're just starting to get to know guys. I think that's what you kinda do. You try to get to know anybody new that comes in here.

"I think that's all a part of getting new teammates is trying to get to know them for yourself and not judging them off what happened with other teams but trying to get to know guys."

But Brown's current situation might make it more difficult for him to spend a lot of time connecting with his new teammates. 

They already don't have much in the way of background with the player who played his college ball at Central Michigan and has spent almost the entirety of his pro career in Pittsburgh. He has this lawsuit situation hanging over him, the details of which he might be reluctant to share with people he hardly knows. And he has a lot to catch up on in order to get into a huddle with Tom Brady on Sunday in Miami and have an understanding of what's going on. 

There might not be much time for meet and greets.

Asked what type of teammate Brown has been since signing, McCourty acknowledged that it's hard to get a grasp for a guy you've spent minimal time with, but he likes what he's seen in the early going in terms of Brown's willingness to work.

"Can't really tell. Like you said, it's a day," McCourty explained. "He's been working hard on the football field today, his first day out there, doing different things, trying to get ready to go. But it's a lot. You come in here and guys have been at it since April and you just get thrown into it and you just try to learn and to do as much as possible. 

"So far I think he's done that. Obviously he's a veteran in this league in his 10th year so he understands what it takes to be out there and be prepared."

McCourty added: "We've had a lot of guys come in at different times throughout the year and been able to help us in different ways. The goal is to come in, learn as much as possible, watch the guys that are around you. Doesn't have to be captains. We have a lot of guys that do it the right way in here. I know everybody in the outside world has created this so-called 'Patriot Way,' but to me it's coming in, figuring out how we do things and trying to do it the best way you can."

On the field that shouldn't be an issue. It sounds like practice No. 1 for Brown showed his new teammates that the Patriots acquired not only a talented player, but one who'll work. 

Off the field, how he meshes in a locker room with an atmosphere cultivated over the course of two decades, is where the questions lay.

CURRAN: This is what the Patriots signed up for with Antonio Brown>>>

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Tom Brady 'proud' of ex-teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with 49ers

Tom Brady 'proud' of ex-teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with 49ers

Tom Brady is admiring ex-Patriots teammate Jimmy Garoppolo's success with the 49ers from afar.

Despite suffering his first loss of the season on Monday night vs. the Seahawks, the former Pats backup quarterback is thriving as San Francisco's starting QB. Garoppolo, like Brady, has his team off to an 8-1 start and pegged as a favorite to compete in Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Brady talked about Garoppolo's early success on Monday during his weekly Westwood One interview with Jim Gray.

"He's done a great job. The point of playing football is to win, so when your team's winning and you're the quarterback, you're doing your job," Brady told Gray. "I'm certainly proud of everything that he's accomplished. He was a really great guy for me to get to know and to see on a daily basis.

"I think the great thing to see if players who take advantage of their opportunity. He had an organization that put a lot on the line to get him, and he's taken advantage of that opportunity. I know he had a tough injury last year, but he showed a lot of mental toughness in coming back from a tough injury and is playing great football."

Garoppolo was drafted by the Patriots in 2014 and served as Brady's backup until he was traded to the 49ers in 2017. The Eastern Illinois product got the chance to showcase his talents in two starts during the 2016 season, going 2-0 with four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Since then, the 28-year-old has overcome a devastating knee injury and become the leader of an NFC powerhouse that looks like it'll be in the mix for years to come. Not a bad deal for the man once thought of as Brady's potential successor.

As for Brady and the Patriots, they'll look to bounce back from their Week 10 loss to the Ravens on Sunday when they face off against the Eagles. If all goes according to plan, a February reunion for Brady and Garoppolo in Miami could be in the works.

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Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Rob Gronkowski reunites with David Ortiz, calls him his 'new trainer'

Two of Boston's most beloved sports figures in the city's history did some reuniting on Monday.

Rob Gronkowski and David Ortiz joined forces for an Instagram video that certainly will add to the speculation about a possible comeback for the retired Patriots tight end.

“Big Papi’s my new trainer,” Gronkowski says in the video while flexing. “We are reunited.”

Watch below:

Don't get too excited though, Patriots fans. Gronk has pretty much already shut down the idea of a comeback this season and is preoccupied with some new television responsibilities. He has, however, left the door open to return to the gridiron one day.

If Gronk does decide to help out the Pats' current tight end situation, he has until Nov. 30 to make up his mind.

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