People love to hate on Trent Brown. And, from a sports talk radio perspective, you can see why. He’s an easy target.

Brown first arrived in New England in 2018 with a reputation as a talented but low-effort offensive tackle with durability issues. He was excellent that season, but bolted in free agency for a lucrative contract with the Raiders. His two campaigns in Las Vegas were marred by more injuries and effort/conditioning concerns. The Patriots then re-acquired Brown for the 2021 campaign and he missed Weeks 2 through 8 due to a calf issue. He played the rest of the way, but didn’t do much to win over his doubters.

So, in some respects, Brown earned the criticism. And showing up to last spring’s minicamp out of shape and miffed over a contract didn’t help.

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However, Brown now has been active for the Patriots in 49 games and is in his fourth season overall with the franchise. The sample size no longer is small. To that end, criticizing Brown now feels like cherry-picking to suit a narrative, because his larger body of work in New England flies in the face of his nagging reputation.

He was great in 2018 while protecting Tom Brady’s blindside during a Super Bowl run. He battled through the calf injury in 2021. He played all 17 games in 2022 — including suiting up for a Flu game after losing 12 pounds — and enjoyed a solid campaign.

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But this season might be his most impressive work.

Brown missed Week 2 due to a concussion but played in the other seven games despite lingering chest and leg injuries. Against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 22, he left the game due to ankle and knee injuries but quickly hobbled back onto the field after replacement Vederian Lowe suffered his own ankle injury. Brown was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded tackle in Week 7, a performance that put him atop the site’s overall tackle rankings to that point (he now ranks sixth).

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The 30-year-old wasn’t nearly as good in last Sunday’s road loss to the Miami Dolphins. In fact, he had arguably his worst game of the season. But Brown deserves a ton of credit for grinding through the injuries he suffered the previous week.

The 6-foot-8, 370 pound behemoth barely could walk in the locker room afterward. We saw him sporting a noticeable, painful-looking limp while preparing to leave Hard Rock Stadium.

With a 2-6 record, the Patriots are at risk of some players letting go of the proverbial rope. But Brown probably won’t be one of them.

“Trent has definitely been that guy,” offensive lineman Mike Onwenu said Monday during video call. “It’s football so everybody has something. But he’s been in there day in and day out, trying to get back healthy. So I know he’s going to do his best and he’s going to always push and give his best effort.”

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None of this is to say that Brown is a no-doubt franchise tackle. He’s been an occasional headache for every franchise that’s employed him.

But Brown also has powered through injuries, position switches and questionable O-line coaching during his run with the Patriots. And, more often than not, the monstrous tackle has played at a high level.

He isn’t perfect, but he deserves far more respect than he gets.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images