New England Patriots: Troy Brown
Such was the case Saturday morning, when Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown -- one of the most popular players in the history of the franchise -- tweeted the following to @DannyAmendola: "Welcome my man to The Patriot Way. I'll see you at the Big Razor & best of luck! Represent that "80" well!"
To which Amendola responded: "Thanks Troy. You are one of the greatest of all time! It's truly an honor!"
Amendola wore No. 16 in St. Louis, but he's been issued No. 80 at this time, which was Brown's longtime number.
Amendola's number could always change, especially if receiver Kamar Aiken (currently No. 16) doesn't stick around. But for now, the connection between Brown and Amendola is a good one -- one of the franchise's all-time greats with a player looking to make his mark in attempting to fill the Wes Welker void in his first year with the Patriots.
Brown said it will force the Patriots to play the "methodical" type of football that helped them be so successful during their Super Bowl years, and it will make "all the players be accountable."
And for Moss, he said, it will be an opportunity to play with legendary gunslinger Brett Favre and have an immediate impact on a talented team.
Brown, who played for the Patriots from 1993 to 2007, pointed to the 2001-2005 seasons when Tom Brady had to look for the open receivers and "hit seven or eight guys" in a game. He said that type of offense makes everyone work harder, including the defense.
He thinks Brady may actually be better off without having Moss as an option and having to try to always go for the "big play" as opposed to consistently spreading the ball down the field.
Brown pointed out that the Patriots have the players this year to run that type of offense, citing the athleticism of rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski and the talent of receivers Brandon Tate, Wes Welker and Julien Edelman.
With the roster the Patriots had last year, Brown said, coach Bill Belichick never would have made this move.
Brown acknowledged that Wednesday's news will be a distraction for Patriots players, but that it's helpful that this is a bye week for New England. He said
the Patriots "have about two weeks to get over it," and hopefully in the long run the distraction will be less than if a disgruntled Moss stayed in New England.
FOXBOROUGH -- Troy Brown is a Patriot through and through, taking great pride in having played his entire career with the franchise.
Today, with members of the club's 50th anniversary team gathered at the Patriots Hall of Fame, Brown was asked if there was ever a chance he would have played elsewhere.
"I think in the bottom of my heart, I always knew I wasn't going anywhere," he answered. "You always have to explore your options and see what's out there. At the end of the day, I always made the decision that this was the right place for me."
Yet there were times that Brown almost left the franchise.
Over his 14-year career, he visited the Jets twice, most recently in 2008 before retiring. The Saints made a strong push for him as a free agent in 2006 and in 2000, he took a free-agent visit to Kansas City.
Brown said he received a call from Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis while visiting the Chiefs. Had that call not been made, he would have been a Chief.
On a day for Patriots nostalgia, Brown was also asked to share some stories from the old Foxboro Stadium. One that stood out to him was the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars from the 1996 season, when the power went out.
"It was extremely cold," Brown recalled. "We came in and took a shower, and there was no hot water. It was muddy, we were all sweaty, and you felt [bad] when you came in and you couldn't take a warm shower. But you still loved playing in that place. The crowd was right on top of you, and you couldn't ask for anything better."
Brown said he's splitting time between West Virginia and Massachusetts. He has an ownership stake in Narragansett Beer, and continues to serve as a football analyst on Comcast Sports Net.