The Buccaneers had a new addition at practice on Wednesday when Antonio Brown stepped onto the field. The newest member of the wide receiver corps donned his new No. 81 jersey and headed out for the first time with his new teammates. He then impressed the coaching staff with his performance.
Reporters only had a limited amount of time to witness Brown's first time in the Buccaneers' jersey. The practice was closed to media members due to COVID-19, so they could only watch him through their screens for a brief, 20-minute window. ESPN's Jenna Laine later said that Brown "looked happy to be there and was engaged with teammates." She said that he spent a lot of time chatting with running back LeSean McCoy, as well as running backs coach Todd McNair and receivers coach Kevin Garver.
According to head coach Bruce Arians, the first session with Brown went very well. "He was going full speed. Everyone else was walking," the coach said. "It was a good start to the week." Brown did not participate in kickoff or punt returns during the period open to media, but he reportedly showed that he is still at the top of his game during the closed session.
Brown met with the media members on Wednesday following the practice session. He donned a TB12 hat and spoke about Tom Brady being one of his "closest friends." He also explained that the quarterback put him in contact with self-help guru Tony Robbins, which completely changed his mindset.
"Tom hooked me up with him a couple months ago. He's been a great asset for me," Brown said during the media session. "[...]Spent a lot of times sitting with him, developing some positive things within, changing my outlook on a couple things." Brown also said that he has a great support system now and that he has been working on becoming a better person.
Brady has drawn considerable attention over the past year due to his support of Brown. He pushed for the Buccaneers to sign the wide receiver and then he let him move into Derek Jeter's Tampa mansion with him. Brown faced questions about this support, and he responded with a very simple reason. He said that both he and Brady have similar work ethics and that they are "sixth-round late bloomers."