Patriots

Tedy Bruschi: Antonio Brown 'has to change' to make an impact with the Patriots

Tedy Bruschi: Antonio Brown 'has to change' to make an impact with the Patriots

Signing Antonio Brown was certainly a low-risk, high-reward move by the New England Patriots. But despite this, not all are optimistic about his future in New England.

Count former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi among those that aren't sure if Brown will find success. Bruschi recently discussed Brown's signing and indicated that Brown would have to change in order to make a real impact on the Patriots.

"Based on all of his activity in the last year, year-and-a-half, it's all about himself. It's selfish. That's the opinion I have of his behavior up until this point," Bruschi said on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. "Everything is important (in New England). Walkthroughs. Meetings. Practices. Meetings after practice. Everything is important. Saturday walkthrough. You gotta be there. You gotta be present. He has to change. Is that possible? Can he change and be someone that can be reliable on a team that needs him?"

That is the major question surrounding Brown. But it's not one that Bruschi seemed overly confident that the veteran receiver would be able to answer.

When asked later on the show how many games Brown would last, Bruschi wasn't too optimistic that he would escape the season issue-free.

"I'd be surprised if he lasts the season without having some type of issue," Bruschi said on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. "And (we'll see) how the New England Patriots handle it once that issue comes up. Because there's going to be an issue."

One of the big issues that Bruschi thought could pop up is related to Brown's presence in the receiver room, and how he could quickly cause issues if he becomes a distraction.

"There is a player in that wide receiver room right now that needs a distraction-free environment to have success already," Bruschi said. "So with Josh Gordon now in that room, he needs to focus himself to be there all 16 (games) also. So now you've got two wild cards in Gordon and AB. And you're wondering, can they hold it together for an entire season? I think Josh doesn't need this type of distraction to have success for him. And Antonio Brown... it's going to be a room we have to monitor the entire season."

While Bruschi's outlook on Brown joining the Patriots mostly seemed to be negative, Brown himself is happy to be on the team. Per agent Drew Rosenhaus, Brown "wants to be a Patriot" and is going to do what it takes to succeed. And the Patriots themselves have long had their eyes on Brown and actually tried to trade for him back in March before his antics with the Oakland Raiders. So, perhaps the marriage will work.

We'll soon find out what Brown will be able to do with the Patriots. While he won't be eligible to play in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he will be able to play in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. He'll definitely be the player to watch in practice throughout the week.

PERRY: What AB means for Gordon, Edelman, Brady

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Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Report: Julian Edelman, Ted Karras make trip with Patriots, Cowart out for Bengals game

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and center Ted Karras, who were each listed as questionable with injuries, made the trip to Cincinnati with the team Saturday but backup defensive tackle Byron Cowart was downgraded to out with a concussion, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Edelman, the team's leading receiver, has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries. Karras, the starting center, missed the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday with a knee injury. Both were limited in practice this week. 

The Patriots (10-3), coming off back-to-back losses to the Houston Texans and Chiefs, play the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Patriots-Bengals Preview from Tom E. Curran: No cinch in Cincy

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AP Images

Patriots-Bengals Preview from Tom E. Curran: No cinch in Cincy

Here we have two teams at opposite ends of the food chain. The 10-3 Patriots and the 1-12 Bengals. Unfortunately, they have one thing in common. Neither one scores much. The Bengals high for the season is 23 points and that was in Week 4. They’ve only scored more than 20 points twice. 

The Patriots have scored fewer than three offensive touchdowns in five out of six games and the lone game they scored three – in Houston – two came in the very late stages after falling behind 21-3. So this game has the potential to look like a Patriots-Bengals from the not-so-distant past. Not the “On to Cincinnati” game people remember from 2014, but the ugly slog in the rain a year earlier when the Patriots lost 13-6 at Cincy. 

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So many elements are the same now for the Patriots offense – limited talent at wideout and a lack of protection up front. 

Because of the Patriots' offensive struggles, what seemed for months like a simple walkover has the potential to be uncomfortably competitive.