Brandon Browner looking to start his career with Patriots on ‘good foot’
|03.17.14 at 5:43 pm ET|
Cornerback Brandon Browner said Monday he was excited for a fresh start with the Patriots.
“I’ll say a little, but I don’t think I want to go into the details for the simple fact that I want to keep that behind me and move on forward from that situation,” Browner said when asked about his recent suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancers, a ban that will cause him to miss the first four games of the 2014 season.
“Like I said before, I just want to contribute to the Pats and leave that in the past. What I can say is that for the last few months, my future has been in a dark place. I made a few mistakes and that’s one of the mistakes I regret. I look forward to righting my wrongs and I’m blessed at the opportunity to come play in New England and start on a good foot, so to say.”
Browner will sit for the first four games of the 2014 regular season, but says he’s going to do everything he can to get up to speed between now and then to make the transition easier.
“This is something I knew I was going to have to deal with. It’s as simple as that — it’s something that I’m going to have to deal with,” he said. “I’m going to try my best with the time I get, as far as mini-camps, offseason workouts. Up until that point, I’m going to give it all I got to try to learn the system. What’s so unique is, a lot of the stuff I’ll be doing on defense I did in Seattle. The only thing that changed is the terminology. I was also told that we play a lot of man-to-man, which is my strong suit. I’ll take it in stride and I can’t wait to get back out there.”
One question about Browner is where he will be playing. He’s made his bones as a cornerback, but his size (6-foot-4, 221 pounds), as well as the fact that he’s played safety for a short time in the past at the NFL level has fueled speculation that he might play some safety in New England. Asked about it on Monday, it sounds like he’s pretty well set at corner, at least for now.
“No, they haven’t talked to me about playing safety. So far, I’m here to play cornerback,” he said. “I’ll play wherever need be. I just want to play football and I’m fortunate to be playing for a team like the Pats.”
Here are some of the rest of the highlights from his Q&A Monday afternoon:
Is there anything you want to say before we start asking questions?
I’m absolutely excited to be a New England Patriot. I’m looking forward to contributing the best way I can with this team this year.
What have been some of your first impressions of being around Gillette Stadium and the people you’ve met with so far?
Everyone in-house is great. They showed me a great time with the little time I was there. They treated me first-class. I went out to eat with the DB coach and I enjoyed myself. I met some of the guys around the locker room, a few players, the strength and conditioning coach. He showed me a few videos of his program, which I was very impressed with. So I’m looking forward to get up there.
What are your thoughts on teaming up the other defensive backs and with Darrelle Revis as a 1-2 combination?
It’s going to be fun ‘ not just with him, but there are a lot of other DBs up there. Very good football players, [Devin] McCourty is a good football player himself. [Darrelle] Revis, he’s one of the guys I studied. He’s a really good technician, so to say. He always has a good base, good balance in his backpedal. So, it’ll be fun to play with someone like that. I always need someone to push me, sort of like what I had with Richard Sherman and those guys, what I had up there. We sort of pushed each other, day-in, day-out.
Did the Seahawks show much interest in bringing you back? Did that hurt at all? Did you figure you would play elsewhere in 2014?
Yeah, I kind of expected to be a free agent and play elsewhere this year. There are so many good football players up there that are young and I understand it’s a business. They have some guys they have to take care of that are much younger than me that will be around. So there were no hard feelings there. I got a text message from Coach [Pete] Carroll. Those guys have always been good to me, so they’ll always have a place in my heart. They gave me the shot to get back into the league coming out of the CFL anyways.
What was it about New England Patriots that made you pass on other opportunities with different teams around the league?
The organization, first class. I watched them win multiple Super Bowls. They always have the chance to compete to get to the big one. Leaving an organization like Seattle, growing up and up and coming, it was only right for me to come over to New England and have a shot at playing in the big one. My goal is to win the big one. That’s why that was part of my decision to come to New England.
How much did having to watch the Super Bowl contribute to your decision of signing with the Patriots?
Like I said, I know I’ll have a shot playing in New England. It’s a great group of guys I’ll get to play with and I’ll get to play for. I’m looking forward to it.
Did the fact that you are going to miss the first four games factor into your decision to sign with an always-competitive team like New England?
Actually, no, I didn’t think about that too much. The decision wasn’t too hard, not to say anything bad about those other organizations, but I was lucky that my first trip was to New England. I got to meet with the coach and got to hang with a bunch of great guys in that locker room and in that building. They made me feel at home. That was part of the decision, not only my intention to play for a great organization. They treated me like they really wanted me. I’m excited to get up there and show what I can contribute to the team
You touched on how you and Richard Sherman pushed each other in Seattle. Do you see that physicality and competition with Darrelle Revis translating similarly in the New England secondary?
I didn’t really understand that, but I’ll try to answer that question. From what I understand, they’re going to have us matching up with guys. Our strongest suit is man-to-man, my strongest suit is man-to-man. Our main thing up in Seattle is to compete. That’s what we did, day-in and day-out. I think if we come with that mentality with that group of guys I’ll be playing with in New England, it’ll be beneficial to what we’re trying to get accomplished over the season.
Did Darrelle Revis signing with the Patriots help your decision to sign in New England? Did your suspension hinder negotiations you had with other teams you talked to?
I was actually fortunate to get a good deal done with them. It probably did hinder me going anywhere else, but I wound up where I want to be. And about Darrelle Revis ‘ like I said earlier, he’s a very good football player. He’s one of the guys I studied. Across the league, there are a few guys I like to watch on film. To be able to play with that guy, it will be fun. He’s actually the only guy I asked to trade and exchanged a jersey with. That’s the kind of respect that guy’s gained. I just look forward to playing and playing alongside him and the rest of those guys up in New England.
Having missed eight games last year and seeing that you will miss the first four games this year, how would you assess where your conditioning and fitness level is right now?
The first game won’t be for a while. Working out is one of my strong suits. I like to train in the offseason. I’ll be ready. No one’s always ever in shape 100 percent going into training camp. I truly believe that’s what mini-camp and training camp is for ‘ to get you in shape for the regular season and playoff season. I love to work out, that’s just part of who I am, part of my makeup. I’ll come in-shape, in the best shape of my ability. I’ll come in and do my part.
You said you went out to dinner with one of the defensive back coaches. Did they take you to the fine dining in the city or did you go low-budget local?
We went right across from the stadium at a sushi spot. Not sure what that whole little section is called where the Renaissance Hotel is [Patriot Place]. I want to say the Krafts own that little spot right there. I enjoyed myself, I had some good sushi.