FOXBORO (CBS) — Considering Antonio Brown was signed and released by the Patriots within a two-week span, one might assume that the wide receiver has not-so-fond memories of that time in his life. But one should never assume when it comes to the feelings of AB.

The receiver spoke to the media on Sunday night after his Buccaneers edged the Patriots 19-17. In a game sold as a homecoming for Tom Brady, it also marked the first game for Brown in New England since his September 2019 signing and release by the Patriots. That 11-day tenure with the team is something that Brown holds dearly in his memory, largely for seeing and experiencing the work of Bill Belichick firsthand.

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“Well it was the best experience of my life being here,” Brown said. “Bill Belichick [is] one of the best coaches, preparing the players, on the field, off the field, with discipline. I remember walking these same hallways to walk around the building to go to practice, and it was amazing being a player and playing with him, just to see the preparation and the details that he goes over to make sure his team’s prepared. And being able to talk to him after the game was an honor.”

Brown continued: “When I came here I realized what it meant to be a Patriot. You know, the hard work on Wednesdays, the one-on-ones vs. the starters on Wednesdays, the one-on-ones vs. the starters on Thursdays, running up the hill, the preparation for the three meetings a day. He’s just so detail-oriented in being able to prepare the players for every situation, and making sure you know your opponent as well as he knows.”

Brown of course played in just one game for the Patriots, catching four passes and scoring a touchdown from Brady in a win in Miami. After that, a civil lawsuit for rape was filed against him, and a Sports Illustrated story detailed more allegations of sexual assault. The Patriots released Brown, who reacted by posting some disparaging remarks about Patriots owner Robert Kraft on social media.

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Brown was asked about those comments on Sunday night, and he expressed regret.

“You know, I always had the most ultimate respect for RKK. I just think emotionally, when I was going through my situation in 2019 and being cut not knowing if my career would keep going, I think I was really emotional and maybe reacting in a way that was immature,” he said. “But I got nothing but the ultimate respect for RKK. Those guys gave me a great opportunity to come here to continue my career, to be able to be a part of the group. And I’ll never take that for granted.”

While Brown recalls that time fondly, he’s certainly happy that he’s ended up back with Brady. He won a Super Bowl with Tampa last year, catching a touchdown in that championship victory, and on Sunday night, he caught seven passes for 63 yards as one of Brady’s favorite targets.

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“Well I’m just extremely grateful to be here today, honored to have my health and honored to play with a general such as Tom,” Brown said. “And it’s a great feeling to be a Buc today.”

CBSBoston.com Staff