Brandon Browner excelled as one piece of a talented ensemble of defensive backs in Seattle. After the Patriots added Darrelle Revis last week, Browner knows that he's left one stout group for another.
"It’s going to be fun," said Browner, whose free-agent signing was officially announced by the Patriots on Monday. "Not just with [Revis], but there are a lot of other DBs up there. Very good football players. [Devin] McCourty is a good football player himself."
But Revis stands out. He's a player that Browner has looked up to over the course of the last few years. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound corner has broken down video of Revis in the hopes of taking some of Revis' techniques onto the field.
"Revis, he’s one of the guys I studied," Browner said. "He’s a really good technician, so to say. He always has a good base, good balance in his backpedal. 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."
Browner explained that he has not been asked about playing safety for the Patriots this year. Rather, in his interactions with the coaching staff, he has been told that he will be playing a lot of man-to-man.
The challenge of locking down an opposing receiver is one that Browner relishes.
"From what I understand, they’re going to have us matching up with guys," he said. "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."
Having Revis and Browner on the field together should allow the Patriots to disrupt the timing of opposing offenses. Both are adept at being physical at the line of scrimmage, and knocking receivers off of their routes soon after the ball is snapped.
For his part, Browner is looking forward to sharing a huddle with a guy he considers one of the best in the NFL.
"Across the league, there are a few guys I like to watch on film," Browner said. "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."