Kawahara: Didn't Know What They Looked Like With AB

Raiders Reporter Discusses End Of AB Saga

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
September 10, 2019 - 2:36 pm
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) looks on during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at State Farm Stadium

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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It has been quite the eventful lead-in to the Raiders first game after the Antonio Brown saga. It didn't look like there were many distractions on the field as the Raiders beat the Broncos Monday night, 24-16. Matthew Kawahara covers the Raiders for the San Francisco Chronicle and spoke about the star receiver no longer being a part of the Raiders on After Hours With Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio Tuesday. 

"It wasn't a distraction internally," Kawahara said. "There was a lot of noise coming from outside and there was obviously a lot of coverage of the different angles and different avenues of the story took. What the players have mostly said is that they did not feel like even though there was a lot of noise going around them, they did their best to not let it consume them."

Brown never played in preseason and barely was there for most of training camp, so the Raiders never really knew what kind of team they were with him. 

"I think when it all ended on Saturday, there was a sense that yeah they had lost a great player who was going to come in here and be a key part of their offense, but this was a guy that because he was on the field so little in training camp, didn't play at all in the preseason, they didn't really know what they looked like with him," said Kawahara. "They had a better sense what their team looked like without him. For that reason, tonight they were pretty comfortable and pretty confident in what they would be able to do as an offense because they knew who they were without Antonio Brown. They obviously thought that they were going to be better plugging him in, now that that's not the case, they still feel good about what they have." 

It was a different experience than a beat reporter is used to. 

"That was the most unique sort of strange thing about the last week was just how quickly things moved," Kawahara said. "There were so many different things that came out. Stories would change four or five times during the day. I haven't covered something that just changed and moved as quickly as this was and now it's off. The way that Gruden put it after the game tonight was they gave it a shot and now New England has their turn and let's see how they do. I guess that probably goes for the Patriots media as well. I think everybody on the Raiders sideline is ready to move on." 

Brown is expected to make his debut for the Patriots in Week 2 against the Dolphins in Miami.