FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Bill Belichick isn’t concerned about Antonio Brown’s past.
He’s even less concerned about anyone outside the Patriots organization who questions whether Brown can fit into New England’s system without being disruptive.
That’s because he remembers hearing similar sentiments about another outspoken receiver he traded for more than a decade ago.
“It’s the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said Tuesday.
Moss, who clashed with the coaching staffs in both Minnesota and Oakland before being shipped to New England in 2007, flourished with the Patriots. Moss, who was Tom Brady’s chief deep threat that season, had a career-high 23 touchdown receptions and 1,493 receiving yards on his way to earning All-Pro honors for the fourth and final time in his career.
Brown is coming off his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but has yet to be on a Super Bowl-winning team.
Brown was originally traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland in the offseason. But a bizarre foot injury, fight with the NFL over his helmet, skipped practices, multiple fines, a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock and odd social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release him.
Brown agreed to a deal with New England just hours after being granted his wish to be released by Oakland on Saturday.
How much the Patriots plan to use him this week when they visit division foe Miami remains to be seen.
“We think he’ll help our team, but until we start working with him ... and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop we’ll just have to see how that goes,” Belichick said.
A big part of that acclimation process will be spending time with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who like Belichick, has witnessed Brown’s ability to exploit defenses as a member of the Steelers.
But McDaniels was adamant that he won’t change anything about his play-calling approach this week just to get Brown involved.
“We’ll see how it goes as we go forward, but certainly we’ve always had the same concept in terms of our run game, pass game, our offense in general,” McDaniels said.
“We’re going to try to throw it where we’re supposed to throw it and we don’t try to force the ball anywhere or to anybody because that’s not necessarily the way we do it.”
BROWN ACCUSED OF RAPE: New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.
Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, told The Associated Press his client plans to countersue. Heitner said Brown and Taylor had “a consensual personal relationship.”
THOMAS TO JETS: The New York Jets are getting some roster help from the most unlikely of sources: the Patriots.
Adam Gase’s squad acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick on Tuesday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.
SHEPHERD SUSPENDED: New York Jets defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd was suspended six games Tuesday by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers.
Shepherd told NFL.com he failed two tests this summer — on June 27 and July 25 — while recovering from shoulder and groin injuries. He added that an MRI on his groin revealed a sports hernia, and his hunched posture after having that procedure resulted in two herniated disks in his back.