Tom Brady spoke at length about what he described as a “difficult situation” with Antonio Brown after the shirtless receiver ran off the field during the third quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the New York Jets on January 2, 2022. Brady indicated that he would maintain a friendship with Brown despite the playmaker no longer being with the Bucs.
“Yeah, that’s obviously a difficult situation. … I think everybody should hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it,” Brady noted during his postgame press conference. “We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best, and unfortunately it won’t be with our team, but we have a lot of friendships that will last. And again, I think the most important thing about football are the relationships with your friends and your teammates and they go beyond the field. I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”
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Brady on Brown’s Outburst: ‘I Didn’t Know Much Until After the Game’
The majority of the Buccaneers players indicated after the game that they were unaware of Brown’s outburst during the contest. After first being benched in the third quarter by head coach Bruce Arians, Brown took off his jersey, tossed his undershirt into the stands, pumped up the opposing New York Jets fans and left the field.
Brady noted he “didn’t know much until after the game.”
“You know, the guys that were in the game, we’re in the game focused, too,” Brady added. “So, I didn’t know too much until after the game, to be honest. So, I was just out there playing trying to do my job.”
Brady: ‘We’re Still Pretty Short-Handed at Different Positions’
Brady remarked that he was unaware that Brown left his jersey on the sideline. The Buccaneers quarterback campaigned on Brown’s behalf both in New England and Tampa Bay. Brady emphasized that he was proud of the players who were on the field who helped orchestrate a comeback.
“I didn’t know [about Brown’s outburst], I was just, I’m out there and really proud of the effort that our guys gave throughout the day,” Brady said. “And again, I think you go on the road and you get behind, and we face different adversities throughout the day, but we found a way to win in the end. And a great drive by our offense at the end, great just stop by our defense. Defense came together, some guys stepped in.
“We’re still pretty short-handed at different positions. So, every team faces different things over the course of a long season, and I’m sure we’ll face difficult things going forward, and we’re just going to do the very best we can do with the opportunities we’re presented. And really happy to get to 12-4, and we got a home game to try to get to 13-4, and I think our focus is going to be on that and try to improve this week in practice and put ourselves in a position to go out and play a good final game of the year.”
One of those positions is receiver as the Buccaneers lose yet another playmaker after Brown’s release. Chris Godwin was already out for the season, and Mike Evans is nursing an injury meaning the team’s top three receivers from the Super Bowl have all been sidelined for different reasons.