BOSTON (CBS) — There are mixed feelings surrounding New England’s addition of Antonio Brown. He’s an otherworldly talent, but he comes with a lot of baggage.
It’s been quite the week since the Patriots signed Brown following his tumultuous release from the Oakland Raiders. Just a day after the signing became official, Brown’s former trainer filed a civil lawsuit against him in Florida, accusing the NFL star of sexually assaulting her three times in 2017 and 2018. Brown has denied the claims, and the NFL will reportedly interview his accuser next week.
The league will not place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list ahead of Sunday’s tilt with the Miami Dolphins, so Brown will be eligible to make his New England debut. It gives the Patriots a ridiculously talented group of wide receivers for Tom Brady, with Brown joining Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon in the quarterback’s arsenal.
Edelman and Gordon spoke about Brown’s addition to the New England offense on Friday, and both are pretty pumped to have him in the mix.
“I think he’s doing well. The dude is an absolute stud,” said Edelman. “He’s a really good football player and I think he raises the level for everyone out there because of how good of a player he is and how hard he works.”
“He’s lived up to the great Antonio Brown name. He’s one of the best in the league,” said Gordon. “We expect that from him to continue, and I think he expects that from himself. It’s a great addition and I’m glad we have him.”
Earlier Friday, head coach Bill Belichick said Brown still had a long way to go to learn the New England offense. Gordon was in a similar situation last year when he joined the Patriots early in the season.
“It can definitely be tough. I know it was for me,” Gordon said. “Everybody else will get it differently, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, it just depends on how fast you can get rid of what you once knew to adopt a new … everything; environment, offense, way of life.”
Brown isn’t the only new addition playing catchup this week, with offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse also working hard to learn the offense. Belichick said it’s a situation they’ve dealt with in the past, and will likely deal with in the future.
“We try to get him caught up to speed as quickly as you can. It’s too much ground to make up in a few days, but we do the best we can and we’ll see how it goes,” he said.
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