Belichick: Have to find fine line with Browner's reps

Belichick: Have to find fine line with Browner's reps
July 25, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Brandon Browner better get his reps in while he can.

The Patriots cornerback, signed by the team this offseason as part of a revamped secondary that features Darrelle Revis, will miss the first four games of the season due to a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

The substance was marijuana, and Browner was busted last season, forcing an indefinite suspension before he was reinstated in early March. With the re-instatement came the four-game suspension for 2014. So, why was the punishment for a little pot so harsh?

From ESPN: The NFL listed Browner as a Stage 3 offender, which brought the one-year suspension, because he did not submit to urine tests while playing in the Canadian Football League from 2007 to 2010 after first failing a test for marijuana use while he was with the Denver Broncos in 2006.

Anyways, Belichick knew Browner would miss the first four games of the season when the team signed him. The news had been handed out shortly before free agency began. Obviously it didn't deter New England from signing him.

Right now, Browner is on the field just the same as the rest of his teammates. It's too early in camp to be doing much more than the basics. But perhaps there's a little more attention turned to Browner right now - while the coaches still can. That's because as the regular season gets closer and preseason begins, Belichick and the coaching staff will have to focus more on the opponent and gameplanning, while also getting a sense of where Browner is at. Since Browner isn't eligible for the first four games (and the team's practices), he's not much use as camp nears its end, which means his reps could diminish.

(From Perry's camp postcard today: Revis and Browner spent some extra time with defensive backs coach Josh Boyer on Day 2. In their first side-session meeting they worked with safety Devin McCourty. In a second similar session they worked alongside safety Duron Harmon.)

"Well we're going to have to balance that out," Belichick said. "We're going to have to balance it between getting him a lot of reps, getting him ready, but also knowing that we're going to have to play four games without him. So we're going to have to try to find that fine line. Right now, I don't think we're doing anything other than just getting everybody going. But at some point here as we move into preseason, we're going to have to juggle that a little bit in anticipation of the four game's he'll miss."