Antonio Brown had his highly anticipated first press conference as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer following the Bucs’ practice on Wednesday afternoon. While the signing of Brown had been known for over a week at this point, we hadn’t heard much from the receiver himself.

Brown was asked many questions along the lines of if he’s changed, why he should be able to play, what it means to join up with Tom Brady again and being at practice with a talented team such as the Bucs.

Here is a full transcript of his responses.

(On how it felt to be back to playing football and at practice today)
“I’m super grateful to be here with such a great organization to be around and great players. For me, first and foremost, being away from the game for a year and a half, just to be able to be a part of the process and be out there with the guys today was surreal. It’s something I don’t take for granted, it’s something I have a great appreciation for, a better prospective about and a lot of gratification. To do what I love is a blessing.”

(On those who say he doesn’t deserve this chance – what kind of work he’s done to put himself in this position)
“I took a lot of time off of the game to reevaluate myself, to look within, to get a better prospective of myself, working on myself from within and without. To be in this position, we followed the mission to get back on track. It’s what I’m here to do.”

(On how he feels physically)
“I’ve been taking care of myself off the field. I’ pride myself in being a guy who stays in high conditions and be physically fit. It’s been a lot of a year and a half of working out in parks and not being able to get a lot of rewards. I’m grateful to be in a position where I can work out and get an opportunity to play in the game and get some rewards.”

(On what he’s been doing while away from football and what he’s learned about himself)
“I’ve just been spending a lot of time with family, working on myself within and staying resilient. Keeping the mind on the mission and that’s of being a football player and doing all the things that come with that. Even when the times got hard, keeping myself in shape, keeping myself motivated from within, not listening to the naysayers, not giving doubts or worries on whether I’d be able to return. I had good trainers, good people around me in my corner that kept me encouraged, that kept me motivated and I just believed. I knew one day I would get the chance to be back in this position and I just tried to check every box to make sure I was able to get back and I was ready to go.”

(On what he’d say to the naysayers who question him and don’t think he deserves this)
“Hopefully I can change their perspective being here around great people, a great organization. Hopefully I can win them over in my actions with how I move forward and how I handle my business.”

(On his relationship with Tom Brady)
“Tom is my boy. One of the greatest leaders to be around. He’s encouraging, always inspiring, he brings out the best of the people around him, he always wants the best for everyone around him. He’s the greatest quarterback of all time. None of anything I’ve done in the past matters, he’s always gets in there day in and day out. I’ve learned a lot from him, how he trains, how he takes care of himself professionally, his discipline, his work ethic, he’s a pro. He’s been a great guy in my corner and one of my close friends.”

(On his relationship with Bruce Arians, if his social media spat with him has smoothed over)
“I don’t know what was said or what coach said, I know we have a great relationship. As a kid coming to Pittsburgh 10 years ago being 20-years old 21, Bruce Arians was always an asset in my corner, a great coach that always brought out the best of me. He’s always challenging with what he says in regards, but it’s only to make you a better person. I had to learn that as a 20-year old kid. No matter what BA says, he’s always got good intentions for his players. I wouldn’t be here without him today, so I’m grateful for him, for the opportunity to have me here. I owe a lot of credit to BA, things that were said online – I don’t know or pay much attention to. I know I have a great opportunity here with BA and this organization and this team so I’m super grateful for the opportunity he has presented me. I owe them all the backing.”

(On his thoughts on where his role could be in the offense)
“I’m just excited to put my hand in the pile. There’s so much great guys here, I’m excited to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in TB12. I’m excited to be around Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, I’m excited to learn and be around the guys and motivate the guys and learn from the guys and put my hand in the pile and hopefully help be the reason we win. I’m just super grateful for this opportunity, excited to be around the guys and everyone here, I’m excited to fit in here and do what’s best first to win, whatever that entails.”

(On how long he thinks it’ll take to get him up to speed in the Bucs’ offense)
“I’m putting the time in right now. Studying every night, coming in with coach Jeffery early in the morning to late afternoon. I make sure when I get an opportunity to be in there that I don’t miss a beat, that guys can count on me, and I can be where they need me to be.”

(On what’s it like living at Derek Jeter’s house on the water with Brady)
“I’m just excited to be here, I’m excited to play. I’m excited to put my hand in the pile and be with the guys.”

(On the other coaches that know him like Byron Leftwich and Antwaan Randle El)
“I got a great support system with these guys here. They’re familiar with me, they know who I am and what I bring to the table and how I am. We got great familiarity and I’m excited to be here and learn from these guys and put my will on display and show these guys what I’m willing to do.”

(On working with Tony Robbins and how he’s helped him)
“Tom hooked me up with him a couple months ago. He’s been a great asset for me, we’re working on myself day in. We’re locking some positive stuff in my spirit and just being a better person. I spent a lot of time sitting with him, developing some positive things within, changing my outlook on a couple things, balance, finally getting away from anger. Just being able to stay positive and see the positive in things, not letting my emotion or frustration ruin my outlook on what’s in front of me. I really thank Tony Robbins and TB12 for hooking me up with great people that can align me with my purpose and help me to see the light in regards to my future.”

(On if he feels he’s a different person now that he’s back in the NFL)
“I just feel like I’m a better person. I wouldn’t say I’m a different person but I’m a better person. I’ve learned a lot about myself working on myself for a year and a half. I think I’m a better person.”

(On why does Tom Brady believe in him)
“I think there is a lot of similarities in our work ethic being guys who were supposed to be underachievers, guys who were never supposed to make it. Sixth-rounder late boomers, guys who developed chips that just wanted to be the best and yearned for being the best, always growing and getting better. Obviously he’s the greatest quarterback in the world so I’m just grateful to be here, be his teammate, be in the huddle and be part of the process with Tampa Bay. I’m super grateful, TB12 is my boy and I’m grateful for that”

(On if there were other teams interesting in him, and what made him choose the Bucs)
“Anytime you get a chance to play with the greatest quarterback in the world, to be around Bruce Arians, a great offensive guru. Like you mentioned earlier, to be a lot of great guys who are already familiar with me from the Steelers two years ago, Antwaan Randle El, Larry Foote, Byron Leftwich, coach Goody. There’s a lot of familiar faces that know me personally more so than what people write or what people say. For me, it was a no brainer coming here and being around guys who understand me, and obviously to play with the greatest quarterback in the world.”

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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7 months ago

Good for him. He looks like he’s in a better place mentally. Hopefully he continues to trend in the right direction.

7 months ago

He says the right things, just gotta back em up now. Definitely sounds like someone who has talked with self help people and taken some courses. A lot of times those kinds of things really can go a long way with making you look at your attitude and mentality in a different way and help you make positive changes. Hopefully he flies straight and does great things and stays out of trouble and gives himself a good opportunity to succeed and hopefully isn’t guilty of the bad things he’s accused of because that would be bad of true. Time will… Read more »

7 months ago

Welcome to Tampa, and I’m happy you’re ready to play football, and act as a mature adult.

7 months ago

Are you sure he said “prospective” and not perspective? Either a dumb statement or a dumb transcription.

7 months ago

Time will tell. He seems stable at the moment.AB can be a valuable asset.

7 months ago

“I’m excited to be here…..” is the theme, someone wrote the response for him. At least he was willing to recite and repeat it.. Let see how long this last…