A couple of days after Oakland Raiders‘ general manager Mike Mayock gave a blunt interview about Antonio Brown’s status, head coach Jon Gruden had a chance to address the issue. The media wasn’t allowed to view Tuesday’s walkthrough, but the coach offered some more details on the situation. He was asked if Brown is all in on the team.
“Yeah, he’s all in, that’s what he said,” Gruden answered. “He’s all in, ready to go. That’s my understanding. Really happy to have him out here, he’s a great player.”
Gruden was also asked if Brown practiced during Tuesday’s session and he confirmed that the receiver did practice and he did wear a certified helmet. This is a promising development as it seems like this issue might finally be behind the team. Reports are that Brown isn’t done fighting the NFL, but at least it’s not keeping him away from the team anymore.
Gruden was also asked how Brown’s play was coming along after his extended absence.
“He’s shown great retention of what we’re doing – he didn’t miss the offseason program, he’s been in here and out of here, in meetings and it’s just good to have him back. He’s in great shape, he’s running hard and running good routes.”
Based on what’s been seen and heard in recent weeks, the foot injury seems to be completely behind Brown. He looked good in warmups for the Raiders before they played the Arizona Cardinals. He’ll be behind on some things, but he still has a few weeks to get back into the swing of it.
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Is Antonio Brown Trolling the Media?
Shortly before the media window closed before Tuesday’s practice, Antonio Brown was seen on the field. He briefly left the field once players started putting on helmets. It could’ve been assumed that he was done for the day as he was still planning on protesting the fact that he couldn’t wear his helmet. However, his absence didn’t last long as he returned to the field and the only thing that was different was that he changed his shoes.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and NBC Sports’ Scott Bair, who were both at the Raiders’ practice, noted that Brown seemed to be having fun toying with the media.
It’s probably impossible to know if all of this drama has been heightened by Brown to just mess with a media that is constantly bashing him. The truth is, it’s probably a bit of both. The theatrics of him leaving the field and coming back was probably meant to mess with the media. But all of the helmet drama is almost certainly a real issue for him. He wouldn’t bring this kind of media storm to his new team unless it was actually a concern for him. No, this is not a manufactured story for the purpose of Hard Knocks. That’s what flying into training camp in a hot air balloon is for or showing off his grotesque feet.