FOXBORO, Mass. — Brandon Browner has no interest in discussing the four-game suspension he faces to start the 2014 season.
The Patriots free-agent signing would only say that “the past is in the past” and that he’s happy to be playing football again on Friday after organized team activities practice.
Browner’s actions that caused the suspension — a failed drug test — are in the past, but his suspension has to be in the back of New England Patriots coaches minds as they prepare for the 2014 season. The defense they see during OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the preseason isn’t the same one that will take the field during the first four weeks of the season.
“We’re going to ask guys to do different things,” Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer said Friday at Gillette Stadium. “We’ll move guys around, ask them to do different techniques, different spots. There’s going to be numerous groups of guys in and out. We’ve always got to be ready, because if a guy’s not there, you’ve got to play someone else. We’re going to cover that from different angles.”
Browner looks primed to start, and he likely will hold down that spot throughout the summer. The Patriots’ secondary is stacked, however, so Browner might have to work for the starting role once his season begins in Week 5.
Browner wouldn’t compare this secondary to the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive back unit he came from, but he had nothing but praise for his new group.
“I think we got a good group here with the addition of (Darrelle) Revis,” Browner said. “McCourty is a good football player. With the young players we got here, we should be good.”
Bringing in Revis and Browner can only help the Patriots’ pass defense, but it could take a while for the secondary to build the same chemistry that they had with Aqib Talib. Browner said that even without pads on, OTAs can help build that trust.
“Yeah, being out there on the field, that’s how you build camaraderie,” Browner said.