The New England Patriots certainly are no strangers to dealing with off-the-field distractions.
From Aaron Hernandez to Deflategate, the Patriots have dealt with just about everything and have done so while still winning games … and Super Bowls for that matter.
But the Antonio Brown ordeal provides a certain unique challenge to the Pats’ locker room. Even before Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit, the star wide receiver was carrying a lot of baggage. His signing in Foxboro was met with mixed feelings by some in the fan base and in the media. The lawsuit made things even more complicated.
We’ve seen what Brown did with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, so what makes things different in this case? Well, the answer seems quite obvious — Bill Belichick.
Former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch is confident that the coach will make sure the locker room remains undivided through this drama.
“Everything starts with Bill,” Branch told TMZ Sports in a recent interview. “It starts with your leader on the team. Coach Belichick, out of all the years he’s been coaching and been a part of numerous different organizations, trust me, this ain’t the first time something like this has came up with some of his players. He will do what’s best for the organization, that we all know.”
“It’s tough, especially when you hear things of that nature,” Branch said, referring to Brown’s lawsuit. “The most important thing is just for you to carry out your assignment, do your job while you’re there.
“If you don’t have anything to do with it, you stay far away from it. And I know these guys will do that.”
It remains unclear if Brown will be available to play in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, but it seems that the Patriots are preparing for him to be there on Sunday.