After a lengthy hiatus, the always-controversial Antonio Brown is, for once, avoiding controversy.
After signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this season, Brown has been a model citizen. There have been no public feuds with head coach Bruce Arians and no screaming matches between Brown and quarterback Tom Brady.
Brown failed to adapt to the ‘Do Your Job’ mantra in New England. But with the Buccaneers, Brown is living up to expectations, on and off the field.
Antonio Brown and the Buccaneers looked like a dangerous match
Antonio Brown is a lightning rod for controversy, distractions, and regrettable moments.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Brown in October, the marriage appeared destined for failure. Brown had feuded with head coach Bruce Arians before, and the Buccaneers are in a win-now mode with Tom Brady at quarterback.
Brown didn’t play at first after signing with the Buccaneers. After passing his COVID-19 protocols, Brown had to finish serving an eight-game suspension that he received for off-field behavior.
Even the biggest optimist had reason to believe that Brown would be a significant detriment to the Buccaneers.
Brown has done his job in Tampa Bay
Antonio Brown has been a pleasant surprise in more ways than one since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In his first four games, Brown snagged 20 catches for 168 yards. That included a seven-catch, 69-yard game in a 46-23 victory over Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers in Week 10.
Before debuting with the Buccaneers in Week 9, Brown hadn’t played since Sept. 15, 2019.
Tom Brady quickly worked Brown into the offense, and the veteran wideout played 78% of the Buccaneers’ offensive snaps in Week 9. Brown has played over 60% of the offensive snaps in three of his first four games.
As part of his new role, Brown has also seen special teams action and even had a two-yard punt return.
Antonio Brown is quickly reviving his career and legacy
For many years, the New England Patriots have had a business-first approach with one key demand: Do Your Job.
The mantra is simple. Regardless of what someone’s role is or how many snaps they are playing, they need to do what is best for the team, not be a distraction, and follow their assignment.
Antonio Brown, after he failed to perform the role in New England, is accomplishing that feat in Tampa Bay. Brown is doing everything the Buccaneers have asked of him, from lining up outside to playing special teams, in hopes of winning a Super Bowl.
It will be interesting to see how Brown’s free agency plays out next spring if he remains out of trouble. Chris Godwin is a free agent for the Buccaneers, and while Brown isn’t an ideal replacement, he would at least be familiar with the Buccaneers’ offense.
But that is way, way in advance. For now, Brown needs to continue doing his job, catching passes, and behaving. If he does that, Brown could earn himself a substantial payday in the spring.