Antonio Brown joins the Buccaneers as a former All-Pro receiver. He has other skills that the Bucs may regard as useful, on special teams.
“He’s a great punt returner and kick returner,” coach Bruce Arians said Friday in response to the question of whether Brown would be an option as a return specialist. “It’s just going to be one of those things where we can get him out there with a live ball and not a jugs machine – get him back to catching them. He’ll give us good depth in that area.”
Brown has 186 career punt returns for 1,759 yards and four touchdowns, and 47 careers kickoff returns for 1,173 yards and one touchdown.
We’ll know more about how Brown will be used in Week Nine, when Brown makes his debut with the Bucs. He’s generating far more interest regarding his skills as a receiver.
“I think when you look at him play, his play speed is that fast [and] his play size is that size,” Arians said of Brown. “He just makes big-man catches. He has unbelievable hands, great body control, he can separate extremely quickly on anybody that’s trying to cover him and he’s a great run after the catch guy because he can catch really well and you don’t have to think about it. He’ll take short ones and take them deep. He’s got great work habits and I think when you watch him play, he plays bigger than he is [and] he plays faster than he is.”
And he’ll be playing in nine days for the Bucs on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.