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.
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