Tom Brady: Antonio Brown has made incredible strides over the last 12 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
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Tom Brady has publicly been in Antonio Brown‘s corner over the last two seasons, notably letting the wide receiver live in his house as Brown got acclimated to Tampa Bay.

Brown was a factor in the Buccaneers’ receiving corps, making 45 receptions for 483 yards with four touchdowns in eight regular-season games. He caught three passes for 59 yards with a TD in the postseason before suffering a knee injury that kept him out of the NFC Championship Game.

On Wednesday, Brady was asked about his relationship with Antonio Brown and explained he approaches forming bonds with an open mind.

“I don’t have any predisposed notions of how things will go or how they should go. I just try to get to know everybody. I try to, in my own way, be a positive influence in their life. They’re a positive influence in my life,” Brady said. “Antonio and I connected right away. He has a great love for the game — just a real perfectionist for how he plays, how he takes care of himself. Incredible football IQ. And then, again, a great skillset just as a player. And, I think, made incredible strides over the last 12 months to get from where he was at to where he’s at now.”

But more than that, Brady seems to be highly conscious of his legacy and how he can leave a lasting positive impact on players around him.

“As an older player, I think the impact that I want to have as I continue to move forward is help other people, maximize their potential. And I feel like, obviously, I’m much closer to the end than the beginning. I have the ability to help people through my own experiences, to help them be the best they can be,” Brady said. “Everybody is dealing with life, which is not always the easiest thing for all of us. So you just try to provide words of support or advice — again, care for people. That’s a really important thing that we need to do, that all of us need to do. We need to care for people more and allow people to blossom and be the best they can be, because they can trust you — that you believe in them and that you ultimately want to see them succeed.”

Brown served an eight-game suspension to begin the season for multiple violations of the league’s personal-conduct policy. But he has stayed out of trouble since signing with Tampa Bay this year.