When receiver Antonio Brown officially joins the Buccaneers after Week Eight, he’ll be starting from square one when it comes to learning the offense.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, coach Bruce Arians was asked whether Brown’s experience with Arians in Pittsburgh will translate to Tampa Bay.
“I think some route concepts and things like that, but when I left they changed the terminology in Pittsburgh for all those years he played, so it’ll be pretty much ground zero with him other than the route tree, how we run routes and things like that,” Arians said. “It’ll be a big adjustment for him, but we’ll get him up to speed.”
Before getting him up to speed, Arians and the Buccaneers had to get Brown in the door. Arians elaborated to Peter King of Football Morning in America regarding the steps that resulted in the signing of Brown.
“I know everybody wants to say Tom Brady lobbied us to get this done,” Arians said. “Tom Brady lobbied me back in, gosh, June, July, August. I said no. It didn’t fit then. Now, we’re in the hunt. I owe it to the rest of my players — if there’s a guy that fits our salary cap cheap, who’s a Pro Bowl-type player, let’s bring him on our squad. Who says he has to start? I mean, we just got another Pro Bowl player to put in if one of those guys go down. A.B. brings another dynamic to our team that we don’t have. I owe it to the rest of our players to put the best team out there possible. I don’t foresee any problems. I don’t anticipate any situation where he and I are gonna have a problem. He knows that if there is, it’s a very short-lived contract.”
Brown may agree to a backup role in order to get a job, believing that the team will eventually realize that he deserves a bigger role. If he doesn’t, what happens?
“This move wasn’t made without me talking to every single one of our veteran players,” Arians told King. “Do you want this guy? Do you want this guy in our locker room? Every man said yes.”
Some would say every man said yes because they knew Brady wanted Brown, and they suspected that it would get back to Brady if they said no.
Regardless, the Buccaneers now have Brown. It remains to be seen whether he makes it through the season, or even through the month.