BOSTON (CBS) — Any time a team adds a dynamic offensive threat like Antonio Brown, their quarterback is going to be pretty excited. Tom Brady is no exception, though the Patriots QB cautions that his newest weapon has a lot of work to do when he gets to New England.
The Patriots offense didn’t look like they needed Brown on Sunday night, as Brady lit up the Steelers for 341 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-3 drubbing to open the 2019 season. Adding one of the best receivers in the game will make that unit even more dangerous, causing nightmares all around the NFL before the season got a chance to really kick off.
“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 following New England’s victory Sunday night. “I think, like anything else, whether it was Josh [Gordon] last year or Phillip [Dorsett] when he got here a few years ago late, and then this year Antonio, how much can you learn and process and get in here? And we’re all going to work hard and try to get up to speed as fast as possible. But, we haven’t had a training camp together or that, so you’ve got to force a lot of information.
“We’re all excited to have him,” Brady added. “All I could say is we’re just going to work as hard as we possibly can to get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels said ahead of Sunday night’s game that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was the man who broke the Brown news to Brady on Saturday. Upon hearing the Patriots had signed the Brown, who forced his way out of Oakland after a tumultuous week that included fines, social media posts and a near-scuffle with his GM, Brady texted Kraft to say he was 100 percent in. Then he sent a follow-up to say he was 1000 percent in, before going even further to say he was 1 million percent in.
So Brady is clearly in — even inviting Brown to live with him until he gets settled. But the big question now is will Brown be “in” with the Patriot Way. New England has brought in talented — yet slightly mercurial — receivers in the past to mixed degrees of success. Randy Moss bought in when he first arrived in Foxboro, and it led to a historic season, but he talked his way out of town a few years later. Brown has now burned bridges on his way out of two franchises in the last nine months.
Brown has been focused on himself over the last year, and that will need to change when he gets to New England. And as Brady pointed out to Peter King on Monday morning, Brown also has a lot of learning to do before everyone deems this acquisition a success.
“There’s a lot to learn,” Brady told King. “The point is, it’s one thing to talk about, it’s another thing to go do it. Let’s go do it. That’s what my attitude is.”