Josh McDaniels: Patriots won’t ‘force the ball’ to Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown without question adds a dangerous dynamic to the already-potent New England Patriots offense, but Josh McDaniels insists the team will not force the ball to the superstar wideout.
It remains to be seen exactly when Brown will make his Patriots debut, though with the wide receiver expected to practice on Wednesday, there’s a chance he could be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
McDaniels said on a Tuesday conference call that when Brown’s debut does arrive, the Patriots will not change how they go about their business simply because of Brown’s outsized presence.
“We’ll see how it goes as it goes forward, but certainly, we’ve always had the same concept in terms of our run game/pass game and our offense in general,” McDaniels said Tuesday, per NESN. “We’re going to try to throw it where we’re supposed to throw it, and we don’t try to force the ball anywhere or to anybody, because that’s not necessarily the way we do it.”
Brown obviously is the very definition of the diva wide receiver, and until he proves otherwise, the belief has to be that he will not be happy if he doesn’t get his fair share of targets. That’s simply not the “Patriot Way,” as emphasized by McDaniels, who added, “We have a lot of good football players on our team.”
The notion that a player of Brown’s reputation will have trouble finding his niche on the Patriots is a reasonable one, and former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer believes the mercurial wideout is not a good “fit” for the team-first Patriots.
"I don't like the fit. Antonio Brown is going to have great games where he has 10, 11, 12 catches for 160 yards and 2 TDs. Then he's going to have games where he has 3 targets. … I don't like the fit with Brady. Brady needs precision." — @CarsonPalmer pic.twitter.com/U3RJ8OetjB— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) September 10, 2019
How things play out for Brown and the Patriots remains to be seen, but it’s clear McDaniels is on the same page as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who are similarly taking a pragmatic approach to the wideout’s arrival.