NESN took a look at past quotes from Belichick talking about Brown and he understood how talented of a player he is.
"It won't get much tougher than that," Belichick said after the Steelers lost to the Patriots in 2015. "Antonio is really a good player that's good in the deep part of the field, he's good on catch and run plays – the screens they try to throw to him and the under routes and stuff like that and the intermediate routes. He ran a real good route on a double move. I think it was a good battle."
During the 2016 season, Belichick talked about what makes Brown so difficult to defend.
"The skills with the ball in his hand as a runner are exceptional," Belichick said. "You see that on the punt returns. You see it on a lot of those under routes, catch-and-run plays, so you don't want to back off of him and let him catch it and break a tackle or if you get up on him he runs behind you. That's a problem and he's a good intermediate route runner, too; in-cuts, comebacks, curls, things like that.
"He has great quickness coming out of cuts so he's very, very hard to cover. And he's seen a lot of double-coverage, too. I don't think that really bothers him either. He knows how to beat that. When you double him I mean at some point he attacks one guy so it really becomes single coverage. He takes the other guy out of it and then he beats that guy. So he's tough. He's really tough."
So it makes sense for the Patriots to go after Brown as soon as he was released by the Raiders. And it also makes sense that New England tried to trade for him earlier this year.
"Patriots tried to trade for Antonio Brown in March, but Steelers did not want to trade him to a rival," Adam Schefter of ESPN said. "So instead of having to give up a pick or picks for him in March, Patriots get Brown without having to compensate another team in September."
Brown will likely make his Patriots debut on Sunday when the team takes on the Miami Dolphins.