Antonio Brown will be much better with the Buccaneers in 2021 than the media thinks.
You’d think that after winning the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers would be the talk of the town. Conventional thought would tell you that the Bucs and their stars would get nicer treatment from the media, but Bleacher Report proves this is not the case with Antonio Brown.
In an article that was picking one player from each team that could disappoint in 2021, Bleacher Report incorrectly chose Antonio Brown as the likely candidate from the bunch. Not only is this not accurate, but some of the arguments used were faulty as well.
The weakest argument is the one looking at stats. The author saw 483 receiving yards on the season and used that as a detractor from Brown’s game, yet in reality, that stat line should inspire confidence in 2021.
Four hundred eighty-three receiving yards over eight games multiplied out over a season is 966 yards. Brown did all of this without an offseason to learn the playbook and limited practice time. This stat line would’ve been excellent for most receivers in the NFL, and it was undoubtedly in competition for the best amongst WR3s in league history when properly adjusted.
Bucs fans and Brown already know where he sits on the depth chart, so a yards-based metric for player performance won’t serve as a way to disappoint. Brown would have to do awful statistically to truly disappoint, but anything over 500-600 yards on the year, which should be easy to reach in this offense, would positively benefit the team.
The author also brings up the issue of Brown’s yards per reception, which is correctly justified as low at 10.7. This is not impressive from a box score standpoint, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Bucs don’t need Brown to be a home run hitter; they already have that in almost everyone else on the roster. All they need is for Brown to be a reliable option for the most consistent quarterback in the NFL.
Averaging a first down for every catch is already nothing to scoff at, and Brown was able to accomplish this with very little preparation before his first snaps in pewter and red.
The one argument that makes sense as a knock against the Buccaneers’ WR is his age and injury history. This would be the easiest way for Brown to disappoint in 2021, but his stability through 9 games last season was enough to ease most doubts.
With several other popular names buried on the depth chart, Brown will be under the microscope week in and week out, but he isn’t one of the players in the league to bet against, especially not with Tom Brady throwing passes to him.
There will be plenty of articles like this in the coming months that question Brown and the rest of the Bucs roster, but they are bulletin board material and little more.
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