Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians had his first media availability on Thursday since word emerged of an October 15 incident involving receiver Antonio Brown. Arians had little desire in talking to the media about the incident, however.
“Like the statement said, we were totally aware,” Arians said. “And he’s been a model citizen. I think we’re trying to beat a dead horse now. There’s been enough statements about it.”
Actually, there has been only one statement from the teams. And the statement didn’t say that the Buccaneers “were aware” of the incident upon signing Brown. Instead, the statement said only that they “are aware” now.
If anyone was going to ask Arians about that distinction, he made it clear in response to the next question — about Brown and his maturity level — that Arians had no interest in talking about it.
“I think we’ve had enough conversations about that, thank you,” Arians said.
Whether the team did or didn’t know about the October 15 incident before signing Brown becomes an important distinction, given that the NFL (according to the NFL’s in-house media operation) didn’t know about the October 15 incident. If the Buccaneers truly knew about the October 15 incident before signing him, then the Buccaneers acquired an obligation under the Personal Conduct Policy to tell the league about it.
Our guess (and it’s just a guess) is that the Buccaneers didn’t actually know about it before signing Brown, and that Arians is either accidentally or deliberately blurring the lines so that he doesn’t have to answer questions about it.
Still, even if he refuses to answer the question at his next virtual press conference, it’s fair to ask him for clarity regarding the timeline. If the team knew, it’s fair to ask whether the team told the league. If the team didn’t know, it’s fair to ask whether before signing Brown they asked if there are any other incidents they don’t know about.