Antonio Brown didn’t light up the New Orleans Saints in his Week 9 debut, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver coach Kevin Garver said promising things about the new star receiver.
Tampa Bay Times reporter Joey Knight reported Garver’s comments Wednesday.
“He’s done everything that I’ve asked him to do,” Garver said, according to Knight.
Garver went on to say that they meet regularly daily, and he’s seen good results with Brown, Knight wrote. Since Brown joined the Bucs, speculation abounded how it will go due to Brown’s history of being a disruptive locker room presence and his off-field issues such as numerous criminal charges, including an open sexual assault case.
Garver said he’s giving Brown a clean slate.
“My approach with people is, really, I allow them to determine who they are, so I don’t worry about all that stuff from the past,” Garver said, according to Knight. “I’ve been with him for two weeks, so really that’s what I’m going to make my judgments based off.”
Brown made three catches for 31 yards during his debut in a blowout loss to the Saints, 38-3. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady threw to him five times, but head coach Bruce Arians indicated he wanted it to be less according to Sports Illustrated’s Jason Beede.
“I think he played more than I wanted him to because of the situation of the game,” Arians said in Monday’s press conference according to Beede.
NBC Sports Pro Football Talk commentators Mike Florio and Chris Sims discussed if Arian’s wish to play Brown less would help the Bucs improve after a gruesome blowout loss to the Saints.
Brady has many other talented options at receiver in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Tampa Bay won’t need to worry about Carolina Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey in Week 10 since he’s out due to an injured shoulder, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport via Twitter.
Following a second opinion on his injured shoulder, #Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey has a realistic chance to play next week, sources say. He’s out this week and will be monitored closely. But there is hope that it’s just a one week absence and he can play vs the #Lions.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2020
That doesn’t mean the Bucs defense will get an easier go of things since Panthers running back Mike Davis can do some damage running and receiving, too. He has four touchdowns and 631 yards of total offense this season. Arians knows the threat.
“I think a little bit more power running because Davis is such a powerful runner, but he’s also still a really good receiver,” Arians said in Wednesday’s press conference.
Tampa’s offense will get healthier for its Week 10 matchup with the return of guard Ali Marpet, per Buccaneers.com’s Carmen Vitali.
He missed the Saints game due to a concussion but returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity. According to Vitali, Arians said Marpet is close to completing the NFL concussion protocol.
Tampa Times reporter Rick Stroud wrote via Twitter that Marpet practiced Thursday.
#GoBucs G Ali Marpet is practicing again today. TE Rob Gronkowski returned after a day off.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) November 12, 2020
The Bucs missed Marpet in Sunday’s loss, unable to move the ball effectively on offense. Brady took three sacks and threw three interceptions. He also failed to throw a TD pass for the first time this season.