TAMPA, Fla. — Practically seven months to the day after Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians stated “it’s not gonna happen” with Antonio Brown, the Bucs have agreed to a deal with the controversial, but highly talented wide receiver who final performed for Arians in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It wasn’t coach-speak, Arians is a straight shooter. He known as Brown “an excessive amount of of a diva” and stated he wasn’t a match for the Bucs’ locker room, even with quarterback Tom Brady campaigning for him behind closed doorways. However that was earlier than accidents started to mount within the Bucs’ receiving corps.
Professional Bowl large receiver Mike Evans has been hobbled by an ankle harm since Week 4 and has barely been capable of apply. Their different Professional Bowl receiver, Chris Godwin, has missed three video games due to a concussion and a hamstring pressure. Their speedy deep risk Scotty Miller has been hampered by a hip/groin harm. And tight finish O.J. Howard — who had grow to be a giant a part of the display sport — went to injured reserve due to a ruptured Achilles.
The consequence? Brady’s high receiver in opposition to the Chicago Bears was rookie Tyler Johnson, whom he’d by no means accomplished a go to previous to Week 5. And if the Bucs wish to not solely make the postseason however make a run at a Tremendous Bowl with Brady, they notice that their window is tight and, they want reinforcements at a place that has been hit exhausting by accidents.
It is the identical motive they signed A.Q. Shipley as a backup middle, in order that if one thing occurred to Ryan Jensen, Brady may take snaps from an skilled middle. It is the identical motive they signed operating backs Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy — to make sure Brady had skilled operating backs to pair with Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn — who may assist in the passing sport.
So how will Arians deal with Brown, whom he has publicly traded barbs with, had a tryout with the New Orleans Saints that included a digicam crew entourage that infuriated members of the Saints’ teaching workers, as soon as cursed out former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and arrived to Oakland Raiders camp in a scorching air balloon?
The sensation contained in the group is Arians’ character is powerful sufficient to deal with him. Arians has by no means had an issue giving anybody a chunk of his thoughts — as seen by his expletive-filled tirades in apply — and he coached Brown with the Steelers. Brown additionally has ties to a number of members of Arians’ teaching workers: offensive assistant Antwaan Randle-El was his teammate in 2010; Harold Goodwin was an offensive assistant with the Steelers for 2 years when Brown was there; offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich performed with Brown for 3 seasons in Pittsburgh because the backup quarterback; exterior linebackers coach Larry Foote was Brown’s teammate in Pittsburgh for 4 seasons. Newly acquired defensive deal with Steve McLendon performed with Brown in Pittsburgh for six seasons.
However the one who could make the largest impression of all, and who can maintain Brown in examine, is Brady, whom Brown developed a right away reference to whereas in New England. Brady invited Brown to remain at his residence when he signed with the Patriots. Of their one and solely sport along with the Patriots, Brown had 4 catches for 56 yards and a landing in a 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots released Brown less than two weeks after signing him.
Brady has had success holding troubled teammates in examine when others have failed. Examples embrace LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Corey Dillon, Randy Moss and Aqib Talib. However Brown’s off-the-field points are severe — two cases where he was accused of sexual misconduct and a felony charge of battery and burglary. He’ll should be held in examine always.
This transfer signifies simply how a lot affect Brady has on this group. Brown’s character is in distinction to Evans, Godwin, Miller, Johnson, Justin Watson, Jaydon Mickens and Cyril Grayson — gamers who do not complain when the ball does not get thrown their manner and lead comparatively quiet lives off the sector.
Brown will not be eligible to play till Week 9, however it’s an necessary rematch in opposition to the Saints, whom the Bucs have a half-game lead on within the NFC South however misplaced to in Week 1.