FOXBOROUGH — Mohamed Sanu had a crazy week. Traded to the Patriots Tuesday morning, he bid farewell to the fans in Atlanta, flew to Cincinnati (where he played the first four years of his career) to drop off his son, and made his way to New England by Wednesday.
He did his best to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Browns, working extra with his position coaches, picking the brains of his fellow wide receivers, watching tons of extra film, and trying to get to know his new quarterback, who just happens to be one of the best this game has ever seen.
Then he took the field. And with one key fourth-down catch and another pretty 19-yard bullet from the aforementioned Tom Brady, Sanu officially became a Patriot, contributing in small but important ways in the team’s 27-13 win.
“It was pretty cool,” he said, still smiling in the happy locker room. “Guys were really excited to have me out there and I was really excited to be out there.”
Of course, Sanu admitted to making some mistakes, and he relied often on Julian Edelman or Phillip Dorsett to make sure he knew he was doing the right thing at the line of scrimmage. But in making an impact on the game, Sanu, the 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound veteran, gave a glimpse of what he can add to the offense in the second half of the season.
“He makes plays that are critical,” Dorsett said. “It was third down or fourth down, the one got challenged [on fourth down], that was a big play. And then the crossing route he caught across the field, another big play. We needed him and he made it.”
In Sanu’s words, he caught the second one, a missile from Brady, out of “self-defense” because it was so on target.
“He worked really hard this week to get up to speed and, to play as much as he did, I think it’s just going to be more and more confidence as he keeps going,” Brady said.
On both of his catches, Sanu was rewarded by the home crowd with chants of his last name, heavy emphasis on the final vowel. It’s a chant he first heard back in his college days at Rutgers, and it’s followed him in the NFL. Still, he didn’t expect to hear it so soon.
“I heard it and was like, ‘All right,’ ” he said. “It gave me a little more juice.”