We should stop. The mere presence of Tom Brady has caused a whirlwind in Central, South and all of Florida. If not the entire NFL world. His fandom is everywhere. His fame proceeds him. Not to mention the supermodel connections, the political affiliations or his entourage.
Sometimes a man’s persona can get him over any objection in the room. For those who are not feeling the vibe, let me explain this easily; You’re looking at the man. One will be hard-pressed to find a single-edged sword in today’s economy. They’re reliable yet rare. There, in fact, lies the issue.
Double-edge has become the norm. Which leads to mandatory sharpening and maintenance. The ability to cut has never been the question. Reliability, for this particular weapon, has. If anyone has crossed paths with a noble, or priest or pastor, the resounding virtue that they bequeath onto you is that the change has to come from within. If one’s a Christian, scripture states that “The Battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
A baptist might tell you “Let your faith be bigger than your fear.” Solid information- regardless of affiliation. But for the life of me, why is there a personal struggle for another “made man” to write his Redemption Song?
There is plenty of bad to digest, consume, and maul over. But I got news for you too; You’re looking at the man. However unfortunate, the opposite side of the knife is just as sharp. The vital thing is the point: Do we need Antonio Brown in Tampa?
But it’s not that I don’t trust you.
The “Old” Antonio Brown
Ever since the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Antonio Brown in 2010, he allowed his game to do most of the talking. A year to digest the game before busting loose, 2011 marked the breakout of AB. While only starting three games, Antonio Brown gathered 1,108 yards off of only 69 receptions (16.05 per catch).
He stretched the field for the Pittsburgh Steelers that season as well, recording a 79-yard catch and score. That’s not easy to do. While hampered with injury his third season, Brown still produced 787 yards in the air and 24 on the ground. His touchdown total doubled as well, from two to five. 2013 was the year of “Mr. Big Chest”.
The breakout party is always the best. It’s the year that you establish to your peers, teammates, trainers, coaches, fans, and most importantly, opponents, that you’re looking at the man. If a wide receiver sees an astonishing amount of targets (167) and he catches 65.8 percent of those targets (110), he probably deserves the ball more.
In 2014, Brown returned with an insatiable appetite. Healthy, mean, and definitely focused, Brown rewrote his own records. He caught 19 additional balls from last year, (129), he increased his total yardage by 208 yards (199 receiving) and stuffed his pockets on the field with a baker’s dozen of touchdowns (13). Fantasy stock went through the roof.
A high-end wide receiver to target in fantasy drafts, AB broke the top 10. Nothing changed in 2015. His dominance continued. He wasn’t only torching the AFC North. It was the NFC West, the AFC West, and the unsolved mystery that took place Sunday, December 6th of 2015 in prime-time.
The on-field murder of the Indianapolis Colts has turned into a cold case file, still unsolved to this day. Only three men can state 136 or more with pride. Only two are still active. 1,834 yards receiving is remarkable, let’s not forget the 28 yards he had on the ground as well, considering that Leveon Bell was there. His touchdowns took a dip but were still double digits (10).
Unfortunately, it was also the year in which the Steelers faced the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round. Where were you when Vontaze Burfict nearly decapitated Antonio Brown? In my best Micheal Jackson voice; “Do you remember?”
The Mentality Change
2016 through to 2018 were successful years. Over 100 receptions, 1,284, 1,533, and 1,297 receiving yards, respectfully, the same player, not the same AB. Attitude issues, not listening to coaches by having the post-game speech on Facebook Live. Infighting, then, showing insecurities of not wanting to share the limelight. What is the stock in JuJu fantasy-wise nowadays?
It begs to question how detrimental that hit he took impacted his decision-making, his outburst, and his short temper. Random acts of violence, the constant cop calls, infidelity, and the questioning of one’s integrity professionally. The blonde mustache… Somehow that pops up when reminiscing on AB.
Unhappy and not wanting to be in Oakland, he found a way out, and managed to lose a guaranteed contract and a shot of winning a ring with the New England Patriots. The crash is the worst than the fall. Those are the times in which one makes the news, for all the wrong reasons. Even O.J. Simpson became baggage to USC.
Who couldn’t whisper and tell the phenom from Liberty Heights Miami that there were errors in his ways? Broken, and longing for self-worth is when we need to pick ourselves up and fight to reclaim the things that were once yours. Freedom, value, worth, retribution, credibility.
There is no doubt that he could produce for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this upcoming season. There is not a question in my mind that he could assist any team, including the Steelers. But my rejection of the thought of adding Mr. Big Chest into the mix with the Dynamic Duo and the G.O.A.T. was never about the skill.
That I can trust.