FOXBORO — New England Patriots’ receiver Antonio Brown may be among the best receivers in the National Football League, but his addition does not mean the Patriots’ offense is going to change dramatically.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels insisted that it remains status quo, saying on Tuesday that he does not feel the need to get Brown involved, or involved early, if Brown plays in Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
“We’re going to try to throw it where we’re supposed to throw it, and we don’t try to force the ball anywhere or to anybody because that’s not necessarily the way we do it,” McDaniels said.
“The goal for us is always the same — have a really good week of preparation, try to make sure our guys know what our plan is and we’ve prepared them as best we can for the opponent, and then go out there and take care of the football and score as many points as we can playing complementary football.”
Brown, who was signed as a free agent and officially on the NFL transaction wire on Monday, joins a deep group of players at the skill positions. He will join the receiver room with Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, as well as N’Keal Harry (IR).
The Patriots also showed the ability to get their running backs — mainly James White and Rex Burkhead — involved in the passing game, with Sony Michel leading the ground game.
“We have a lot of good football players on our team and a lot of guys that have roles that they can perform well,” McDaniels said. “We’ve got to go out there and put our guys in good positions to be successful, hopefully, with a really good week of practice. We’ll see how it goes as we go forward, but certainly we’ve always had the same concept in terms of our run game, pass game, our offense in general.”
With the transaction official, coach Bill Belichick discussed the addition of Brown for the first time on his conference call Tuesday.
“Well, we think he’ll help our team, but until we start working with him — part of that is actually having a hands-on opportunity to work with a player and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop,” Belichick said in regards to Brown. “We’ll just have to see how that goes.”
Brown, of course, has caused off-the-field trouble in his last two stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, who released him on Saturday before being signed by the Patriots, his third team in seven months.
Belichick was asked how much confidence he has that the 31-year-old Brown won’t be as disruptive in New England as he has been previously.
“Well, I wasn’t in either one of those places, so I really can’t comment on what did or didn’t happen there,” Belichick said.
“It’s the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick added.
Brown, who caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and a league-high 15 touchdowns in 15 games last season, could make his debut against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. However, he could also be held off the 46-man game-day roster, which the Patriots did with Josh Gordon when they acquired him in a trade last season.