Former New England receiver Deion Branch is confident that Bill Belichick won’t let Antonio Brown’s off-field distractions splinter Patriots locker room.
Count Super Bowl 39 MVP and former New England star receiver Deion Branch among those utterly unconcerned about Antonio Brown’s potential negative effects on the Patriots locker room or team chemistry.
While no one doubts Brown’s abilities as a football player – he’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and a four-time First-team All-Pro in his nine NFL seasons – the talented wideout obviously brings with him more than his fair share of baggage. After an offseason riddled with controversy and conflict, Brown now rides into New England fresh on the heels of being accused of rape by his former trainer.
If he’s allowed to play this year – and it looks for the moment as if he’ll at least play this Sunday in Miami – he could represent one of the more premier offensive threats the Patriots have ever had in the history of the franchise.
One of their former greats in that category, Deion Branch, gave a recent interview and shared his thoughts with the media on whether or not he believed Brown’s arrival would prove detrimental to the Patriots. Courtesy of USA Today’s Isaiah Houde, here’s what Branch had to say exactly:
“Everything starts with Bill (Belichick). 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.”
Branch played seven of his 11 NFL seasons in New England under Belichick. One of Tom Brady’s most trusted receivers, Branch was also considered to be a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working members of the team while he was in Foxborough.
He brings up a great point regarding the potential powder-keg that makes up the Antonio Brown/New England Patriots partnership. So long as Belichick remains in place where he is – as the unquestioned leader and dictator of this football operation – the team dynamic really shouldn’t be considered at risk of combustion or disintegration.
After all, Belichick has brought in plenty of diverse and – shall we say, opinionated? – individuals in the past on his team. For the most part, he’s always been able to curb their personalities and turn them into team-first guys. And the ones he hasn’t, they haven’t stuck around long enough to do any real lasting damage.