After a devastating 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, the Patriots are searching for answers on both offense and defense. While one or two players cannot be the saviors of this team, the Patriots will get some help from the returns of cornerback Brandon Browner and wide receiver Brian Tyms this week.
Coach Bill Belichick was asked about how to integrate Browner and Tyms this week after they both missed the first four weeks of the season while on suspensions.
“I think that’s a question we will have to address and ultimately answer this week. I don’t know the answer to [that question] right now,” Belichick said during a conference call on Tuesday. “Right, those two players have missed four weeks -- four games -- but all the practice time as well, and we will have to see where they are relative to the other players.”
Browner, the former Seattle Seahawks cornerback and member of the “Legion of Boom,” was acquired this offseason. He provides the Patriots with a physical corner who has superior size and will definitely work his way into the mix in the Patriots’ secondary.
Tyms was one of the surprise stories of training camp as he emerged as a taller receiving target (6-foot-3) who has good hands. He established a strong rapport with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I think both of those guys had good preseasons,” Belichick said. “They both had very positive impacts in the opportunities that they had this preseason.
“We will have to evaluate that [time frame] during the week here and do what we think is best for the game against Cincinnati Sunday night.”
Tyms has a tough task of claiming a roster spot and could be a fit on the practice squad. Considering the Patriots’ decision to make wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins inactive against Kansas City, Tyms may have an opportunity for a role on the 53-man roster. If he treats it like he handled his opportunity during training camp, Tyms could emerge as a receiving option.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia knows that Browner is not the answer to all problems on defense as all players will be looked at this week to see what is best for the team going forward.
“Well, we have to see where [Browner] is at. I’m sure he will be anxious to get back with the team [and], his teammates will be anxious to have him out there working,” Patricia said. “Keep plugging them all. Obviously, we just think we need to take a look at everybody right now and see how everything fits together and just try to improve as a defense as a whole.”