Brown catches TD pass in first game with Pats

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Wide receiver Antonio Brown departed the locker room quickly after the New England Patriots' 43-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, leaving teammates to answer for his impressive debut in which he caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown.

Brown's locker was empty, and his nameplate taken down, by the time reporters arrived. He has yet to address reporters since signing with the Patriots on Monday.

"I don't think any of us had any doubts about AB's skill set. I think it was just good for everybody to see it in an actual game," receiver Josh Gordon said. "He continues to be what we expect him to be -- a great wide receiver and football player. For us, it's a tremendous asset."

On Sunday, ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported that Brown declined to sign a $2 million-plus agreement with Britney Taylor to settle a sexual assault allegation made by the wide receiver's former trainer.

The NFL is set to meet with Taylor on Monday as part of its investigation into the matter, a source confirmed to ESPN.

After Sunday's game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked -- when assessing the situation -- what led him to playing Brown.

"I'll talk about the game. I've already commented on that. I'm not going to say any more," he said.

Quarterback Tom Brady was asked whether he had any conflicted feelings of Brown playing.

"I don't make any of those decisions. I just show up and play and do my job," he answered.

Brady went to Brown early, looking in the receiver's direction on his first play for an 18-yard catch-and-run over the middle. That came on the Patriots' second play from scrimmage. Brady connected with Brown on passes of 10 and 8 yards later on the opening drive, and Brown drew a defensive holding penalty to set up the team's first touchdown.

"I was just trying to find an open guy, and he was snapping off some routes and did a great job," Brady said. "It was good to find him."

Brady's best connection to Brown came on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Brown, who was one of four receivers on the field, aligned in the left slot and was in a one-on-one matchup against second-year cornerback Jomal Wiltz when Brady delivered a beautiful, back-shoulder throw in the end zone. Officials deemed that Brown didn't extend his arms to create separation, which would have been offensive pass interference.

Brown then leapt into the stands in excitement, as if he was taking a seat next to a spectator, before going back onto the field and sharing an embrace with Brady.

Brown was unofficially charted on the field for 25 of the team's 70 offensive snaps (including penalties) as he was integrated into the mix with starters Julian Edelman and Gordon, as well as fifth-year veteran Phillip Dorsett.

Gordon felt a difference with Brown on the field.

"It takes huge stress off offensive linemen, the running backs, everybody. There's no way you can pinpoint one facet of our offense and try to shut us down. As you just saw, it's pretty tough to try to contain us," he said, before crediting Brown's football acumen.

"Guys who are football smart just pick it up. Some faster than others, and he's one of those guys who is gifted in that area. He came in here and was able to adapt on the fly. He's still learning, as we all are, but it just goes to show how much he really wants to be here and contribute."