Antonio Brown’s suspension officially ended following Week 8 and he was on the practice field for the first time as a member of the Buccaneers Wednesday.
The former Steelers, Raiders, and Patriots wide receiver signed a one-year deal, worth up to $2.5 million, with the Buccaneers on October 27th after spending nearly 14 months out of the league after a brief stint with the Patriots in 2019.
Of course, his quarterback in that 11-day stint in New England was none other than Tom Brady, current Bucs signal-caller and someone, according to Brown, who was an integral part in helping the troubled wide receiver turn his life around.
“Tom is my boy,” said Brown after practice. “One of the greatest leaders to be around. He’s encouraging, always inspiring. He brings the best out of people around him. He wants the best for everyone around him.”
“He’s always getting better, day in and day out,” Brown continued. “And I just learn a lot from him — how he trains, how he takes care of himself professionally, his discipline, his work ethic, his approach. He’s been a great guy in my corner, and one of my close friends.”
Antonio Brown…big smile and repping the @TB12sports brand.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) November 4, 2020
Brown is expected to be active when the Bucs host the Saints on Sunday as he tries to find a role in one of the better offensive units in the league. However, despite their success, the Bucs have dealt with their fair share of injuries. Mike Evans has not been healthy for much of the season and Chris Godwin is still questionable as he recovers from a fractured finger that cost him the game against the Giants. Whether or not he practices on Friday will determine if he sees the field against the Saints. At this point, Brown is more of a necessity than a luxury for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
In his one game with Brady and the Patriots in 2019, Brown caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. With very little time to practice, the two showed instant chemistry that was, unfortunately for some Patriots fans, shortlived as Brown was cut not long after. Bruce Arians and the 6-2 Bucs, off to their best start since 2002, are hoping they quickly recapture that chemistry as the team looks towards the second half of the season.