During his debut with the Buccaneers, receiver Antonio Brown participated in 39 snaps with the Tampa Bay offense. In Brown’s second game, he also participated in 39 offensive snaps.
His percentage of participation, however, dropped sharply. From 78 percent down to 49 percent.
That part surely was by design. In the aftermath of the 38-3 loss to the Saints, Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians made it clear that he wants fewer three- and four-receiver sets and more one- and two-tight end sets, in order to boost the running game. It happened, and it worked.
Brown also was on the field for five special-teams plays, primarily on the punt-return team. (He had two fair catches, and no returns.)
Brown had three catches for 31 yards against the Saints. He had seven for 69 against the Panthers, along with a rushing attempt that lost three yards. Along the way, quarterback Tom Brady missed a wide-ass open Brown for what would have been a long touchdown.
Meanwhile, the odd man out for Tampa Bay has become receiver Scotty Miller. He participated in 19 snaps (38 percent) against the Saints. Against Carolina, Miller’s playing time fell to nine snaps, a mere 11 percent. Miller had one catch for 10 yards in Week Nine, and one catch for four yards in Week 10.