Bruce Arians on Antonio Brown: “He just can’t help himself”

NFL: JAN 02 Buccaneers at Jets
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The Buccaneers had a tumultuous day in New Jersey, thanks to receiver Antonio Brown either quitting or getting fired during an eventual win over the Jets. Coach Bruce Arians explained the situation with Brown to Peter King of Football Morning in America.

“It’s a shame,” Arians said regarding Brown’s latest antics. “I feel bad for him. He just can’t help himself.”

Arians reiterated the same version of the events that he shared with Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, that Arians told Brown to re-enter the game, that Brown refused, and that Arians told Brown to get out.

“Nope, I’m not going in,” Brown told Arians, according to Arians. King notes that, per, Brown claimed his ankle was sore. Whatever the specifics, Arians said he became “very” angry with Brown, who proceeded to remove his shoulder pads, jersey, T-shirt, and gloves and leave the field — and then the stadium.

“[H]e had that look in his eye that I haven’t seen for a long time,” Arians told King.

The abrupt departure of Brown, who arrived at the obvious behest of quarterback Tom Brady and who got another second chance after a three-game suspension for giving the team a fake vaccination card, creates a challenge for Arians. He has to find a way to use the incident to get the team to pull together for the playoff push.

“You’re either with us or against us,” Arians told King. “And I want you to know I’ll take the guys in this locker room and go play anyone in the world.”

That’s what they’ll be doing. The lingering question is whether anyone in the world will give Brown his latest second chance, and whether that team will eventually cross paths with the Buccaneers in the postseason.

As nutty as it may currently sound, talent finds a way. Arians changed his position in 2020 about not wanting Brown, who was suspended for the first eight games of the season due to multiple off-field incidents, because Tom Brady firmly believed that Brown could help the team win — and he did. Arians ate his own words about Brown (“he screws up one time, and he’s gone”) after the three-game suspension for submitting a fake vaccination card because Arians believed Brown could still help the team win. Last week against the Panthers, he did.

All it takes is one other team to believe that Brown can help the team win, and to believe that he can and will hold it together for a few weeks. For all anyone knows at this point, maybe Brown was upset that the Bucs displayed such ambivalence toward him during his suspension. Maybe Arians huffed and puffed to Brown about him being down to his last chance, and maybe that rubbed Brown the wrong way.

Maybe, in other words, Brown wanted out. Maybe he provoked the interactions preceding his exit. Maybe he thinks there’s another contending team that has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl, and that will give him a bigger role in the offense.

Or maybe he truly can’t help himself.

Time will tell. Starting with the likely release of Brown, coming later today. Unless, of course, the Buccaneers conclude that Brown has some ulterior motive that includes getting to another team and, instead of waiving him, they suspend him without pay for conduct detrimental to the team.

20 responses to “Bruce Arians on Antonio Brown: “He just can’t help himself”

  1. “[H]e had that look in his eye that I haven’t seen for a long time,” Arians told King.


    I think they word you’re looking for is ‘crazy’ and you’ve been enabling it.

  2. At this point with everything that’s happened it’s clear he just can’t help himself. He’s manic and impulsive and probably doesn’t even know why. His history shows it and Arians kind of gave it away here, “[H]e had that look in his eye that I haven’t seen for a long time.”

    I wish him luck and hope he gets help because history as shown these stories have a tragic end.

  3. The guy has a serious mental health issue. He is not coldly calculating his way through getting himself put on another team’s roster because he feels they have a better chance of winning the Superbowl than Tampa Bay does. Anyone that can help steer AB into clinical help should do so at all costs before he hurts himself or anyone else through other irrational decisions and actions he will make.

  4. 2 years ago – Arians in an interview says no way Brown is coming to Bucs, there’s no room and no money and he’s “not a fit”.

    Then after being told by Brady the Bucs are signing him, Arians gave his one strike and he’s out speech.

    Then 2 strikes later, he covers for Brown faking his vaccination card by lying to reporters and the league. Brown get’s punished but somehow Arians lying get’s overlooked by the league.

    Arians basically ignores everything he said to this point by, after checking with Brady, welcoming back AB with open arms and no further punishment.

    Brown walks out on the team in the middle of the game and heads directly to the airport. After the game Arians pretends to have fired AB when in reality AB quit.

    I expect coaches not to tell the whole truth to the press but Arians has to have zero credibility with the press and his team (outside of his boss Brady).

  5. To suggest an ulterior motive on A B’s part is as irrational as his behavior. Dude had a meltdown, plain and simple. He once had one on Instagram live with the mother of his kids that was even more troubling.

    He popped, anyone who has dealt with mental health issues in their family can tell you that’s what happened. He kept it together as long as he could (which was pretty long actually) and now the toothpaste is out of the tube again.

  6. That display will be burned in everyone’s memory for ever like Leon Lett, he is toast.

  7. Why would they even consider releasing him when they can suspend him without pay? If they release him, presumably they have to pay him for the last game not to mention someone might be on the hook for the $1MM in incentives.

  8. This is all Brice Arians fault. Brown made him look like an idiot and it’s what he deserves for allowing brown into the clubhouse from the door. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to take shortcuts.

  9. Just as he tried to get fired from the Yankees, I think AB was attempting to recreate George Costanza’s “ Bodysuit Man” and get fired from the Bucs

  10. Yes, Arians needs to take responsibility for this sh*t show… And Brady needs to include himself as well. You don’t need to be Sigmund Freud to know this would not end well. They got GREEDY!

  11. It seems obvious that AB has some type of mental or emotional issue. I’d bet he has CTE, maybe as a result of the hit he took from Vontaze Burfict in the playoff game after the 2015 season.

  12. You didn’t need to bring that child onto your roster. The fact that you did shows that you are pathetic and no better than him.

  13. a repeat superbowl win would remove last years fluke label. A healthy brown might have been the key.

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