There was a surprise in the New England locker room on Thursday, as headline-making wide receiver Antonio Brown held court with reporters for what turned out to be a four-question scrum that lasted exactly one minute.
It was the first time Brown has talked with the media since signing with the Patriots on Sept. 9. And with Brown’s name somehow thrown in the news more over the last 10 days than throughout his almost two-month long quest to get out of Oakland since then, headlined by sexual assault allegations and a long list of far-from-acceptable behavior, there was a lot for the gathered media to try and dive into using their allotted time.
Here’s the entire exchange between Brown and what was an absolute sea of reporters and cameras…
Question: Is everything alright with you and the league? Are you in good standing to move forward and keep playing?
Brown: I’m super grateful to be here. To play for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. I’ve got a lot of the offense to learn and catch up. But I’m excited and grateful to be here, and to be a part of these guys.
Question: What’s it been like working with Tom?
Brown: It’s been a tremendous honor. He’s been here a long time. A lot of details, a lot of work ethic. A great guy to be around and just inspire everybody here.
Question: How has the process been to kind of get used to everything as everything is going on in your life?
Brown: It’s football, you know? I’m grateful to play football. Every time you walk in the doors here, you know, be your best for the team. Every time I walk in here, I just want to make sure I’m preparing to give these guys my best.
Question: What have you heard from the league, if anything, about your availability moving forward?
Brown: I appreciate that question. I’m just here to focus on ball and look forward to getting out there in the home stadium and being with the team.
And just like that, it was over, as Patriots PR man Stacey James ended the scrum before the conversation fell off the rails.
It’s no shock that Brown didn’t touch any of the questions about the league’s investigation involving the sexual assault allegations and civil lawsuit thrown his way from ex-trainer and college friend Britney Taylor. This is obviously something that’s entirely too delicate to talk about in a locker room (or anywhere besides a room with investigators and/or a courtroom), and Brown addressing that complicated situation after a Thursday practice would be inviting a distraction for his coach and teammates that would most certainly last through the weekend given the Patriots’ rather terrible Sunday opponent.
Brown and the undefeated Patriots will host the Jets on Sunday afternoon.