By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The 2014 New England Patriots were a powerhouse, one that buzzed through the regular season at 12-4 before winning a couple of nail-biting playoff games en route to a Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. They proved to be unstoppable, but that doesn’t mean everything went smoothly all season long.
Boston Herald Patriots reporter and regular 98.5 The Sports Hub guest Jeff Howe shared a story Wednesday on his podcast, “Locked On Patriots,” in the wake of the news that Brandon Browner was released by the Seahawks.
Browner, of course, played a pivotal role for the 2014 Patriots, serving as a very physical cornerback to complement the lockdown coverage from fellow corner Darrelle Revis. Together, they helped the Patriots hold opponents to fewer than 20 points per game.
But it was not all sunshine and rainbows for the pair of talented corners, as Browner’s physicality once spilled over on the practice field.
From Jeff Howe:
I just wanted to wait for the right moment in order to get this Browner story out there, because it’s a pretty funny one, or an interesting one, or however you want to term it. But I also want you to know that I checked this with a couple of people. So this story does come from two people who saw it all go down. So here we go. This is, again, from two witnesses.
The Patriots were walking out to practice at one point during the 2014 season, when Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis spearheaded that secondary, a Super Bowl-winning defense. And they’re kind of jawing back and forth, talking a little trash to each other, I think they had some sort of low-key argument just going on and on and on, and it’s lingering. Then they get out to the practice field, they’re going through a handful of plays, offense vs. defense, and Browner blows a coverage. So Revis gets on Browner, gets in his face, ‘Oh you blew the coverage, this is the play call, you missed the play call.’ Browner’s going back at him, telling him to get away from him.
And it gets to the point where Browner actually wound up and cold-cocked Revis right in the face, knocks him down to the ground, and those two had to be separated by the rest of their teammates.
So they basically picked themselves up, realize, ‘Holy crap, what just happened here? What did we allow this thing to get down to?’ And then they decide all right, they shake hands, they get back to practice, and they move on, and it was never a problem.
Howe noted that it wasn’t an incident that caused any problems in the locker room, nor did it ruin the relationship between Browner and Revis.
“Just a funny story — just the amount of things that we don’t hear about a team in any given season is basically incalculable. And that’s one of them,” Howe said.
He also added that head coach Bill Belichick took care of the situation rather quickly after the scuffle broke out.
It’s a story that stands in sharp contrast to the one involving Revis at Jets camp this summer, when the cornerback threw fists with teammate Brandon Marshall — an incident that received quite a bit of media attention.
It is just the latest example showing how well the Patriots keep sensational stories from ever being known outside of their facility in Foxboro. Fortunately, for the sake of a late-summer diversion, this one managed to slip through the cracks a couple of years later.