Following his team's risky decision to sign wide receiver Antonio Brown, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Brown "looked fantastic" in his first workout with Tampa Bay, per ESPN's Jenna Laine.
"He looks fantastic. I think we had really good conversations today, he and I," Arians said Wednesday. "He was in the meetings and everything. And he's working with Anthony Piroli and the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, ready to go next week."
Brown's eight-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy ends after this week, making him eligible to play in the Bucs' home game on Nov. 8 against the Saints.
Arians's decision to sign Brown raised some eyebrows around the league after the coach had previously said such a pairing would not happen back in March. Then, Arians shot down the idea that the Bucs would sign Brown, saying, "I just know him, and it's not a fit in our locker room." In January 2019, Arians said Brown had "too much diva" going on during an appearance on ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter's podcast.
A key factor in the team reversing its course is Brown's relationship with quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who was briefly teammates with Brown in New England, was asked by Laine to expand upon his relationship with Brown, and why the six-time Super Bowl champion has actively vouched on his behalf.
"Over the years, when you transition from a younger player to an older player, you really want to see guys succeed and you want to see guys do well. It’s always about maximizing your potential," Brady said. "I had a lot of people support me over the years, realizing that I was far from where I needed to be, and they would guide me and provide me with the help I needed as a player to reach my potential. And I think that's how you impact people. We talk about it a lot as professional athletes—how you impact people on the field is one thing, how you impact people off the field is another...
"You just try your best everyday, realizing that a lot of people weren’t born with the same advantages that I had growing up. They weren’t born with the same background, the same support systems that I had. I think when you recognize that, and you bring that to relationships, all you can do is the best you can do...I want to see other guys succeed, and a lot of joy in my experience comes from seeing other people be their best, and seeing people succeed in ways that can set their family up."
Brown, 32, has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women since September 2019. He pled no contest to charges related to his moving truck driver battery case earlier this year. Brown appeared in one game with the Patriots in 2019 before being released on Sept. 20.