While adding in the necessary caveat that we’re a mere four days into training camp, it does seem early on that Trent Brown might be poised for a rebound in 2021.
The gargantuan offensive tackle spent one season with the New England Patriots — 2018 — serving as a left tackle tasked with protecting Tom Brady. It was a job he performed well, allowing him to cash in by earning a lucrative deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
But he wasn’t the same with the Raiders, which is why he landed back with the Patriots and is again hoping a campaign under Bill Belichick will get him back on track.
Brown is a more mature player now than he was three years ago, and that’s already standing out to the Patriots head coach.
“I think Trent’s experience has given him a much higher level of leadership, communication. He’s just able to do more both on and off the field,” Belichick said before Saturday’s practice. “Has a lot more experience. Has more experience in our system which is a big factor. He didn’t have that in 2018 and we haven’t changed things a lot. I think he’s comfortable with all the communications and techniques and adjustments and so forth. That wasn’t the case that began in 2018 nor would you expect it to be for any player that’s new to our program.
“He’s way ahead of where he was, and that maturity and experience has manifested itself and positive leadership,” Belichick, who rarely launches into effusive praise about individual players, continued. “I would say insight for other players, he’s been with three organizations and again, he has some good perspective on a lot of things, especially the New England Patriots. He’s becoming very experienced and well-respected, not just for his physical talent, but for all the other things that he does. Something he gained over the course of the 2018 season, but he’s starting from a much higher point now.”
The Patriots are getting some familiarity back to their offensive line after a tumultuous 2020. David Andrews re-signed and is the heartbeat of the group, while both Brown and Ted Karras are back in the picture.
New England’s stable of offensive linemen again building a cohesive unit benefits nobody more than those in the backfield.
“It’s good (having Brown back),” running back Sony Michel said. “He’s a strength to our offense, a strength to our team, we have a lot of good guys up there blocking. We?re excited.”
At this stage of the season, nobody knows how a player is faring better than the teammates going up against him.
Lately, it’s been rookie linebacker Ronnie Perkins who at times has had the unenviable task of trying to beat Brown at the line of scrimmage.
If nothing else, it’s a nice “welcome to the NFL” experience.
“He’s a huge man,” Perkins said. “It’s kind of good for me because honestly in the NFL, you’re going to see some huge tackles and I’ll get to see one every day. So I get to work moves against him every day and I learn how to rush against other big tackles just like him. So I feel like it’s like great for me.”
Brown only is 28, and he’s on a one-year deal. Him picking up where he left off last time he was in New England would obviously be a mutually beneficial development. Time will tell.