There are some high expectations for Antonio Brown this season. After joining the Buccaneers in the middle of 2020 and being a big part of their eight game win streak to finish a championship run, Antonio Brown now gets a full off-season of work with Tom Brady and the Bucs’ offense.
It’s no longer a crash course or “learn as we go” for AB. He’s expected to be a key contributor and lethal weapon for the Buccaneers alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Now, during the first padded practice, things are clicking for the former All-Pro and his Hall of Fame quarterback;
Antonio Brown appeared to be frustrated that he and Tom Brady weren’t on the same page on an earlier route. They talked it through.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) July 31, 2021
OK so Brady’s deep shot to Antonio Brown during 11-on-11s for a TD may have actually one upped this. Hugged in the end zone. Jamel Dean in coverage.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) July 31, 2021
Antonio Brown is REALLY fired up right now in one-on-ones. He’s got his helmet off, walking along the back of the drill shouting, “Never waste a rep out here. COME ON! COME ON!” This is on the heels of a very sluggish team practice yesterday.— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) July 31, 2021
There was some wide spread concern and/or frustration during the first few days at camp when Brown wasn’t on the field with his position group at the start of practice, but was arriving late. Seems that if there was an issue, we would have heard about it by now. More than likely, he was working with the trainer on his surgically repaired knee before joining practice.
With Brown will always come speculation or worry that the late Pittsburgh Steelers or Oakland Raiders version will pop up and create problems. It appears as if, at least early on, that isn’t the case. Not only is he clicking with the offense but he’s out there yelling at himself - and teammates - that they can’t afford to waste any reps. That is if they want to repeat, anyway.
Personally, my expectations are that Brown is going to be a major part of the offense until opposing defenses take him away. It’s dealer’s choice for opposing coordinators as to which receiver they want to focus on. If it’s Evans, Godwin and AB will get the targets. Godwin? Well, now you have Evans and AB tearing you up. In that sense, Evans and Godwin will likely garner the majority of the defense’s attention, allowing Brown to do what he does - run elite routes, get his hands on the ball, and make plays.
And that is a formula for success. Lots and lots of success.