Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he will not rush Antonio Brown into the team's starting line-up
Los Angeles (AFP) - New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday no decision had been taken on when new recruit Antonio Brown would make his debut following his move from Oakland.
Wide receiver Brown shocked the NFL on Saturday after agreeing a deal with the Patriots, just hours after being released by the Raiders following a chaotic pre-season.
Brown’s arrival gives the Super Bowl champions another potent weapon in an already formidable receiving corps which were influential in a 33-3 defeat of Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Belichick however hinted Brown may not be rushed into his debut for the Pats, who travel to AFC East rivals Miami this weekend.
“You know, I don’t know,” Belichick said earlier in the week when asked if Brown would start against the Dolphins. “We just acquired him yesterday.
“We haven’t practiced so I can’t answer that question now. We’ll take it day-by-day and see how it goes.”
Belichick meanwhile shrugged off suggestions Brown, embroiled in several off-field controversies during his stint with the Raiders, would be a disruptive influence.
Belichick compared Brown to former Patriots receiver Randy Moss, who faced similar questions about his temperament before joining New England in 2007. Moss would go on to set the record for touchdown receptions in a single season in that year.
“That’s the same thing you (the media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said on Tuesday when asked about Brown’s locker room antics.
Belichick however said he was confident Brown would fit into the Patriots culture, which is famed for its emphasis on the collective over the individual.
“There’s no way for me to know what’s inside every person’s mind. That’s up to each of us individually,” Belichick said.
“But collectively, we try to get ourselves in the best physical, mental and emotional state to go out there and play as well as we can once a week when we have that opportunity to play. That’s what we’re all trying to do and there are other things in life besides football, we all know that.
“In the end, if you’re about high performance, which we are, then that’s ultimately what we’re trying to achieve is high performance once a week when we play, so we try to do everything we can to get to that.”