Patriots

Tom Brady: 'We're all excited' to have Antonio Brown join Patriots

Tom Brady: 'We're all excited' to have Antonio Brown join Patriots

FOXBORO, Mass. -- There's no question New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is excited to have Antonio Brown join the team. And why wouldn't he be thrilled? Brown is an elite wide receiver with a tremendous skill set.

Brady is also very aware that adding another great player into the mix isn't easy, and that the challenge won't be solved overnight.

"I think everybody's excited to add great players. It helps everybody when you have great players that are sharing the burden of a tough football season," Brady said after the Patriots' 33-3 demolition of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday night's season opener.

"I think, like anything else, whether it was Josh (Gordon) last year, Phillip (Dorsett) when he got here a few years ago late, and this year Antonio -- how much can you learn and process? We're all going to work hard and try to get up to speed as fast as possible. We haven't had a training camp together or anything like that, so you have to force a lot of information. We're all excited to have him. All I can say is we're going to work as hard as we possibly can to get up to speed as quickly as possible."

The Patriots offense already was one of the league's best without Brown, and Sunday's performance was a fine example. Not only did the Patriots crush the Steelers on the scoreboard, the defending champs also converted 50 percent of their third downs, they didn't turn the ball over once, and they allowed only one sack.

Adding a player of Brown's caliber to the mix gives offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels even more schemes and play designs to try and confuse opposing defenses. But even though Brown is one of the most productive wideouts of his era, assimilating him into offense will be a group effort that everyone must take ownership in.

"All of us players are trying to be the best player that we can be for the team. There's a lot of things that play into that," Brady said. "We're all trying to reach our highest potential individually so that we can reach our highest potential collectively. It doesn't come together because you say, 'Oh, all you guys are going to come together.'

"Antonio's had a lot of production. Demaryius (Thomas) has had a lot of production. Julian (Edelman) has had a lot of production. Josh's had a lot of production. Phillip had a great game tonight. The point is we have a lot of players who are talented and we've got to figure out how to make it all work. We're going to work hard -- it's a long year. It's the beginning of a long marathon. The NFL's very competitive. It's going to be a great challenge, but I think we're all looking forward to it."

Brown wasn't eligible to play against the Steelers, but he's likely to make his debut in Week 2 when the Patriots travel on the road to play the Miami Dolphins. A week of practice isn't going to solve the puzzle of adding Brown to the mix, but with nearly the entire regular season left to play, there's plenty of time for Brady, McDaniels and the rest of the offense to find the best way to maximize the abundance of quality pass-catchers on this roster.

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NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

NFL players rip league's postgame jersey swap policy for next season

A tradition that became popular in international soccer has become a staple of NFL postgames in recent years, but it might not be allowed during the 2020 season.

Swapping jerseys with an opponent is now commonplace in North American professional sports leagues. We often see younger players swap jerseys with veterans who they grew up watching. Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a sought-after player for the postgame jersey swap. Multiple players from the Washington Redskins asked for his No. 12 jersey after a Week 5 game last season.

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Well, unfortunately for NFL players, swapping jerseys could be banned in the upcoming season as the league tries to implement social distancing measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the NFL and NFLPA have not yet agreed on all of the medical protocols for gamedays. NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported the latest information Thursday:

Players were not pleased with this development, to say the least.

One of the most outspoken players was San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who tweeted the following message. It earned a retweet from Patriots running back James White, among other players.

Many other players were not afraid to share their displeasure with the jersey swap potentially being banned. Here are some of those reactions:

With opposition so strong and coming from several of the league's stars, it'll be interesting to see if the league eventually eases up and allows jersey swaps to happen as normal next season.

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

Cam Newton is wasting no time getting to know his New England Patriots wide receivers.

The new Patriots quarterback, who officially signed a one-year contract with the team Wednesday, linked up with wideout Mohamed Sanu last week for a few throwing sessions in Los Angeles.

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This Wednesday, it was N'Keal Harry's turn to catch passes from Newton, according to Boston.com, which obtained video of the duo's L.A. workout from EBA Sports.

The video shows Newton meeting Harry for the first time as a member of the Patriots before throwing the second-year receiver a handful of passes.

Newton and Harry worked out together for about two hours and were later joined by Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., per Boston.com.

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Harry has been working hard this offseason to improve his game after a disappointing rookie campaign. The Patriots' 2019 first-round pick appeared in just seven games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, catching 12 passes on 24 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

It's encouraging to see the 22-year-old on the practice field with Newton, who's aiming to bounce back from his own foot injury that limited him to two games in 2019.

Newton will have to beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, and it appears he's eager to get started while developing chemistry with his new pass-catchers.