FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When 6-foot-4, 221-pound cornerback Brandon Browner signed with the New England Patriots this offseason, he knew he would be the team's go-to player to match up with bigger receiving targets in coverage.
"That was my mindset coming here," Browner said early Tuesday morning, "to show these guys that I am the one to match up with the big guys.
"It's a fun challenge for me. But, it's a lot easier for me for the simple fact that these guys are big targets. They are not as quick and agile as some of these 5-foot-10, 185 pound guys. They are a bigger target for me to put my hands on and I put my hands on them as much as possible at the line of scrimmage to slow down the timing between receiver and quarterback."
In Sunday's convincing 43-21 win against the Broncos, Browner lined up all over the defense, but spent a fair share of time on receiver Demaryius Thomas (6-3, 229) and tight end Julius Thomas (6-5, 250). When Julius Thomas was lined up tight in the Broncos' offensive formations, Browner even slid inside into a hybrid-linebacker role.
"I actually had about 10 to 15 snaps inside the box with my hands on my knees looking like a linebacker," Browner said. "So it was fun for me."
Browner said he hasn't played linebacker since Pop Warner football. Overall, he made some key plays in the win, including an interception while displaying the overall intensity he wants to bring to the Patriots' secondary and defense.
"I'm just trying to be their attitude," Browner said. "I'm just trying to spark some flame in some of the guys by the way that I play because I know that goes a long way. Just like when I'm on the sideline and watch [Rob Gronkowski] make a big play and spikes the ball, I feel that energy. I'm just trying to be that guy on the defensive side of the ball."
Browner added that the intensity can help the offense and vice versa.
"It goes hand in hand," Browner said. "When we are out there, we want to get three and outs and get [the offense] the ball as fast as possible. And then once we go to the sideline, we are hoping they can put up points whether it's seven or three points."
The offense and defense fed off of each other in the win against the Broncos, giving Browner and the Patriots a good feeling heading into the bye week.
"Yeah it feels good to beat what some would call the best team in the league," Browner said. "We beat them the way we did, it gives us a little confidence going into the bye week and we can come back with some energy. I'm looking forward to it. We have a good team."
Browner, who was a member of the Seahawks' Legion of Boom, expressed the same sentiment as Darrelle Revis in that the Patriots' secondary is forming into something special.
"Yeah, most definitely. I feel that exact same way," Browner said. "But, I still know there is work to be done just like when I was on a good secondary in Seattle. We were good, but we had some technique and rough edges to tighten up and that's the same thing we have to do here, tighten up those loose ends and I think we are on our way to being something pretty special."