<
>

Towering Trent Brown joins Patriots' block-out-the-sun ranks

play
Patriots address tackle situation with Brown trade (0:50)

Dan Graziano breaks down the Patriots' acquisition of Trent Brown from the 49ers and what it means for New England's offensive line. (0:50)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Newly acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown is scheduled to meet with New England Patriots reporters on Thursday afternoon, and he's expected to make a big first impression.

At 6-foot-8 and 355 pounds, Brown is one of the biggest players in the NFL, and his acquisition sparks memories to something Bill Belichick said 14 years ago. Simply put, he's a block-out-the-sun type of offensive tackle.

What does that mean?

It was mid-September of the 2004 season when Belichick and the Patriots were preparing for a Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals, who were in their first year under head coach Dennis Green. Belichick mentioned multiple times the size of Cardinals offensive tackles Leonard Davis (6-6, 355), L.J. Shelton (6-6, 345) and Anthony Clement (6-8, 320), and noted how there were no bigger players in the NFL.

Specific to Davis, Belichick recalled seeing him in college at Texas opposite of Mike Williams (6-7, 337) before saying, "They blocked out the sun."

Belichick also explained that day how the size of the offensive tackles contributed to their ability to keep the width of the pocket by not allowing ends to collapse in on the quarterback or power-rush them. This explanation could also apply to Brown, and let's use it as a springboard to create the top block-out-the-sun players in Belichick's 18-year Patriots tenure.

Ted Washington (6-5, 370) -- The Patriots acquired the nose tackle from the Bears in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2003, and it was one of the best trades in Belichick's entire tenure. Washington was hard to move at the heart of the team's 3-4 base defense, and that was an era in which the Patriots were playing their base defense much more than they do today. Washington was a key cog in that Super Bowl championship season, and he also brought a notable personality to the locker room, coining the phrase "Homeland Defense" and handing out winter hats to teammates with those words on it.

Alan Branch (6-6, 350) -- While his tenure (2014-2017) didn't end on a high note, he played a solid role on two Super Bowl championship teams and at one point in 2016 was cited by Belichick as the team's most consistent defensive tackle. Branch's long arms also created some havoc for opposing quarterbacks in terms of disrupting passing lanes. Similar to Washington, he was a shrewd acquisition, initially joining the team as a midseason free agent after being cut by the Bills. He then signed two different extensions to stick around.

Terdell Sands (6-7, 335) -- If you remember the Tennessee-Chattanooga alum's brief stint with the Patriots in 2009, you're truly a hard-core fan of the team. The longtime Raider appeared in one game in New England, but his presence was hard to miss; with little time to prepare him for action, the coaching staff essentially had him push the pocket up the middle in a specialized role and also contribute to the field goal block unit.

Trent Brown (6-8, 355) -- Having entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice out of Florida, Brown has developed a reputation as a top player in pass protection, with Broncos pass-rusher Von Miller calling him the best right tackle in the NFL. He is coming off shoulder surgery that ended his 2017 season in December.