Bruce Arians reconciles his prior comments about Antonio Brown with later events

USA TODAY Sports

In October 2020, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians huffed and puffed about the consequences of a single Antonio Brown screw up. And when he screwed up, as he inevitably would, Arians didn’t blow Brown’s house down.

After Sunday’s 32-6 win over the Panthers, during which quarterback Tom Brady targeted Brown 15 times (10 catches for 101 yards), Arians revisited his past remarks with Peter King of Football Morning in America.

“When you and I talked last year, we were talking on old experiences with Antonio,” Arians told King. “When he came back to us, he was a model citizen. There was a new history. I really loved the way he tried to fit in, worked his way in and gave us everything he had to go to the Super Bowl. My whole attitude on him changed. I saw him trying to be a better human being. So I’ve got a totally different relationship than when it was when you and I talked last year.”

One aspect of the relationship remains constant, however. It’s the dynamic driven by Brady. Arians didn’t want Brown; Brady did. Brady eventually got what he wanted. If Brown had made a misstep last season, it would have created an intriguing dilemma for Arians. With a Super Bowl ring and Brown re-signed as a free agent after a successful 2020 stint, things are indeed different.

But the connection with Brady remains the same. As evidenced by the fact that Brown suited up for the first time in 10 weeks and Brady aggressively threw the ball Brown’s way. So, no, Brown goes nowhere until Brady says so. With injuries to the likes of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin making Brown even more important to another Super Bowl run, Brady will want Brown to be nowhere other than where he currently is.

13 responses to “Bruce Arians reconciles his prior comments about Antonio Brown with later events

  1. I’m not surprised the Bucs would be hypocrites and give a star player one more chance provided he admitted he screwed up, apologized, showed remorse for faking his vaccine card, etc. I’m surprised though they are giving him one more chance without conditioning it on him apologizing and showing remorse. He’s basically claiming he did nothing wrong and the Bucs are still backing him, which makes the entire organizing look bad and sends a terrible message to all the other team employees who followed the rules.

  2. At the end of the day, it’s ALL about the wins. Arians can try to act like there are other reasons….there are not. NFL coaches must win or they’re out of a job. If Antonio Brown helps them win, then he has a job. The only way that isn’t true is if the player is facing prison or the PR is too bad. Brown is an idiot and a diva, but he’s not facing prison (yet) and the Bucs need a receiver. I’d respect Bruce Arians a lot more if he was just honest about it.

  3. The hypocrites who say “get rid of him” but if he was on their team, would say “he’s too good, can’t cut him” is strong

  4. Take the millions and the coaching awards and do whatever Tom says. Not a bad way to go about working in the NFL.

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