Antonio Brown Plays More Than Expected in Debut With Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jason Beede

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their worst loss of the season in front of a national audience Sunday evening on NBC getting throttled 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints.

There aren’t too many positive takeaways from the game, but there was one player in particular who everyone was watching throughout the game: Antonio Brown. Making his debut in Tampa, the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver was targeted five times by Tom Brady and caught three passes for 31 yards.

Brown’s longest-catch of the night came in the third quarter when Brady found him on the left side for 15 yards. On Monday, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians evaluated Brown’s performance.

“I think he played more than I wanted him to because of the situation of the game,” Arians said about Brown. “For his first ballgame, he did fine."

At times however it appeared that Brown and Brady weren’t on the same page. Arians dismissed that idea.

"I think it was just one play [with a miscommunication],” Arians said. “The rest of the time, Tom made a couple good throws, he made some really good catches. The first third down, we should have went to him, decided to go to Gronk [Rob Gronkowski].”

Still, Brady did throw three interceptions, one where the ball was thrown in the direction of Brown. Arians was asked if there were instances of the wide receivers and Brady not reading coverage the same way on Sunday.

"It kind of was with Scotty [Miller]. The interception to A.B. – that was just a poor throw,” Arians said “The one to Chris [Godwin] – Chris read the route properly, [but] Tom thought he was going deep. He stopped [and] those things can happen sometimes when you're doing it on the run."

While Brown may be in physical shape to play football he’s still learning the Buccaneers offensive system. Moving forward, Brown will likely see his role increase as he continues to become more comfortable in Tampa Bay with Brady throwing the ball his way.

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