New Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell addressed the media Wednesday, providing his first comments upon joining the team after signing a three-year, $9 million deal.
Not surprisingly, the 27-year-old receiver, who also had interest from the New York Jets, cited the Patriots' winning culture as one of the main draws. But he was much more specific when it came to catching passes from Tom Brady, who he implied was light-years ahead of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
"Because I had a chance to play with a Hall of Fame quarterback," LaFell said. "One day, Cam [Newton] will be there, probably, but heís not there now. And I feel like there was a better chance to come up here and get more balls and win up here, than with Carolina.
"Nothing against those guys, itís a great organization. Those guys are going to win. But itís proven up here. We won in the last year in Carolina, these guys have won up here for the last 10-plus years. So why not come to a winning organization?"
When breaking down film last year in preparation for the game against the Patriots, LaFell saw a quality about Brady's game that he apparently wasn't seeing with Newton.
"Those receivers just have to put their hands up," LaFell said. "No matter what route they ran, no matter what kind of guy was on them, they just had to put their hands up. The ball was always in perfect placement. So if youíve got a guy that places the ball like he does year to year, itís great."
Lafell is not worried about the Patriots' high learning curve. The Panthers, he said, went to the line of scrimmage with two or three plays ready to go. He expects the post-snap adjustments to be business as usual. But he also addressed the competition he will face on the roster. He's expected to compete with Aaron Dobson as an outside receiver.
"When youíre changing teams, you always think about the guys you've got to compete with and your chance against the other guys. And having the ability to play with good guys like [Julian] Edelman, a guy that caught 100 plus balls last year Ö and [Danny] Amendola, a guy that when heís healthy, heís pretty good.
"So I thought about that and that played a lot into my decision. I wanted to come be around a group of guys that put in a bunch of work and got it in as good as me."
UPDATE: 5:44 p.m.
LaFell took to Twitter to clarify -- at least somewhat -- his comments on Newton.
U right Cam didn't make me drop balls nor did I say he did. So please continue on with your day thank you— Jody Breeze (@Blafell1) March 19, 2014
He promptly added that he'll be taking a break from the social network.
Gonna take a month break from twitter y'all take it easy— Jody Breeze (@Blafell1) March 19, 2014