Tom Brady and Antonio Brown connected from day one.
Whether it was on the football field or in everyday life, Brady stuck by the former All-Pro wide receiver over the last several months, helping him get his life together.
Brown was suspended for eight games by the NFL. When his suspension came to an end, Brown immediately signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late October.
On Wednesday, Brady talked about what his relationship has been like with Brown.
“Antonio and I connected right away,” Brady explained. “He has a great love for the game. He’s a real perfectionist about how he plays, how he takes care of himself. Incredible football IQ. Again, a great skillset just as a player and I think made incredible strides over the last 12 months to get from where he was at to where he’s at now.”
Brady added that helping younger teammates — like Brown — is something that he enjoys most about football.
“For me as an older player, I think the impact that I want to have as I continue to move forward is to help other people maximize their potential,” Brady said. “I feel like I am much closer to the end than the beginning. I have the ability to help people from my own experiences, to help them be the best they can be. I think that’s the enjoyable part. It’s one thing to throw passes, and that’s fun and all that, and I love winning and all that, but we all have lives. Everybody is dealing with life. It’s not always the easiest thing for all of us. You just try to provide some words of support, or advice, or again, care for people.
“I think that’s a really important thing that all of us need to do — we need to care for people more and allow people to blossom and be the best they can be because they trust you and you believe in them and you want to ultimately see them succeed,” Brady added. “That’s the great part of sports. It’s a great part about life and investing time in people and seeing people grow is one of the great things about being a professional athlete, certainly an older professional athlete that is surrounded by a lot of younger players who I want to see them succeed.”
In eight games with the Buccaneers this season, Brown had 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. He left the NFC Divisional Round game against the New Orleans Saints at the half with a knee injury and missed the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers.
Brown’s status for Super Bowl LV is uncertain, but he practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday.