Antonio Brown is officially a Buccaneer. Brown has served his eight-game suspension and is ready to take the field for the Buccaneers on Sunday Night when the Bucs take on the New Orleans Saints.
Brown held court with the media this week and had a lot of things to say.
This was a more mature Antonio Brown. He seemed to be humble and very grateful for the fact that the Bucs are giving him another chance to continue his football career.
“I’m just really grateful to be here with such a great organization, to be around some great players. For me, first and foremost, being away from the game a year and a half. Just to be able to be part of the process and be out there with the guys today was surreal, something I don’t take for granted. Something I have a great appreciation for and a better perspective about. To do what I love, man, you know, it’s a blessing.”
Brown will be joining a high-powered Buccaneer offense that can certainly use his help, as the receiving corp has been hit hard by injuries the first half of the season.
The presence of Brown will immediately give more space to Mike Evans. Scotty Miller and Rob Gronkowski. Those three guys have been a key part of the Bucs passing attack in recent weeks, With the addition of Brown, that makes this receiving group all the more impressive.
Brown appeared to report to the Bucs in great shape and made quite the impression in his first practice on Bucs coach Bruce Arians.
“He was going full speed. Everybody else was walking. He was going full speed. It was good. Guys were helping him. He’s got a really good handle on what we’re trying to get done. It was great interaction with all the guys, a good start to the week.”
Arians, Byron Leftwich, Antwaan Randle El, and Larry Foote all played with Brown or coached him in Pittsburgh.
Brown has been away from the game for a year and a half. He was cut by the then Oakland Raiders in training camp after an altercation with GM Mike Mayock.
He signed with New England and played one game before getting released.
Quarterback Tom Brady took Brown under his wing in New England and is doing the same thing in Tampa, as Brown is staying with Tom Brady.
Brown was asked about his relationship with Brady, and why they seem to click.
“I think we have a lot of similarities in our work ethic, being guys who were supposed to be underachievers, guys who were never supposed to make it, sixth-round late-bloomers, guys who develop chips,” he said. “Guys who wanted to be the best yearned to be the best, always growing and getting better.”
If there is anyone that can keep Brown on the straight and narrow, it’s Tom Brady.
Brown joins a group led by future Hall of Famer Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Scotty Miller.
Brown is excited to work with such a great group.
“I’m just excited to put my hand in the pile. There are so many great guys here. I’m excited to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in TB12. I’m excited to be around Mike Evans, Chris, Scotty Miller, excited to learn and be around the guys, motivate the guys, learn from the guys, and hopefully help be the reason we win. I’m just super grateful for this opportunity.”
Hopefully Brown is a changed man. That he is going to be a different person, and just focus on football. Brown has always been a great player. It’s the personal stuff and the off-field stuff that has been his downfall.
Brown will wear number 81 and be ready to go against the Saints on Sunday Night.