Antonio Brown is unable to practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until Week 9 but the wide receiver is already turning heads after his first workout with the team. Brown is still able to attend meetings and work with the Bucs strength and conditioning staff, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians noted that Brown “looks fantastic” after his first day of work with the team.
“He looks fantastic,” Arians told ESPN. “I think we had really good conversations today, he and I. He was in the meetings and everything. And he’s working with Anthony Piroli and the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, ready to go next week.”
Arians Described Brown as ‘All-In’
Given the way things ended for Brown in 2019, there has been some skepticism that the receiver will be compliant this season, especially given the stringent NFL COVID-19 protocols. Arians described Brown as “all-in” when it comes to making sure he can return to play as soon as possible, which includes going through the testing process.
“He wants to play,” Arians added. “If you want to play, you’ve got to do it. In our conversation today, it’s, ‘Go to football practice, go to work, come home and go back to work.’ He’s all-in. I don’t think we’ll have any problems with those things.”
The Buccaneers Plan to Use More 4-Wide Receiver Sets With Brown
After the Buccaneers signed Brown, questions arose about how the team would be able to utilize the former Pro Bowl wideout given Tampa’s depth at the position. It sounds like Arians is going to leave it up to Tom Brady as the team plans to use more four-wide receiver sets which will allow the Buccaneers best wideouts to share the field together.
“We started introducing a more four-wideout-package, so we could have all those guys on the field,” Arians told SiriusXM Radio, via JoeBucsFan.com. “He’ll have a role as soon as he’s eligible. It’s just how much we can expand that role each week. It’ll take a few weeks, but that’s the nice thing, he practices so hard. The quarterback has some history with him. So yeah, it shouldn’t be any problem. The nice thing is he doesn’t have to learn the playbook. He just has to learn the game plan.”
Arians Had a ‘Good Conversation’ With Brown
Arians has been critical of Brown since his experience coaching the receiver in Pittsburgh was less than stellar. The Buccaneers coach has changed his tune about Brown since the team signed the receiver. Arians noted that he had a “good conversation” with Brown after he joined the Bucs.
“It went real well. He and I had a good conversation this morning,” Arians said, per ESPN. “He’ll be ready to go next week and in good shape.”
The Buccaneers admitted they structured Brown’s contract in a way that the team can release the receiver if they have problems. The early signs for Brown in Tampa are positive, but it will be worth watching how things play out once the receiver begins playing in games.