Antonio Brown Subpar Ranking Defended

April 5th, 2021

Thinks Bucs can live without AB.

Many Bucs fans believe furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing Antonio Brown was a vital implement in the Bucs’ winning eight straight games last season, ending with a Super Bowl victory.

Peter King is not having it.

The hot-dog-eating-contest-protesting, mock-draft-scowlingL.L.-Bean-wearingSecond Amendment abolitionistMike-Florio-arguingparrot-insensitivechewing-with-his-mouth-opensoup-gulpingCalifornia-train-romancinganti-football proliferationouthouse-admiringairline-nappingsteerage-flyingYogi Berra-worshipingurinal-picture-takingvideo-game-playingTaylor-Swift-listeningpickpocket-thwartingBucs-uniform-frowningAllie-LaForce-smittenBig-Ten-Network-hatingpedestrian-bumpingolive oil-lappingpopcorn-munchingcoffee-slurpingfried-chicken-eatingoatmeal-lovingcircle-jerking, craft-beer-chugging, cricket-watchingscone-loathingcollege football-naïvebaseball-box-score-readingNPR-honkfilthy-hotel-stayingfight-instigatingbarista-trainingBudweiser-tolerantbaseball-scorecard-keeping, pasta-feasting, vomit-dodging scrooge, Kay-Adams-following, Coors-Light-souring social activist and NFL insider of NBC Sports in his “Football Morning in America” column two weeks ago wrote about the job Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has done bringing back the Band of Bucs.

All but one, that is. And that would be Brown.

For King, Brown’s absence doesn’t rate that high. King wrote two weeks ago of the Bucs:

That’s 35 for 35, back in the house.

P.S. Antonio Brown. Should he be on the list? I don’t think so. He still might sign in Tampa. But if he doesn’t, I am fine with not including him among the 35 most important people.

Someone took King to task on this matter via e-mail and King defended himself this morning in his weekly column for NBC Sports.

From Richard Worley: “Your statement about Tampa Bay’s player retention would have sounded more like reporting and less like publicity, if you had written: ‘Without Antonio Brown—so far—Tampa Bay retains 35 of 36 of its top players.’ Leaving out Brown seems petty—if we did not know you better. Give Brown his due.”

Petty? How so? I wrote that Tampa Bay had retained its 35 most significant people for the 2021 season. Read what I wrote correctly. The 35 people includes 30 players and five others (four coaches and the GM). I explained why Brown was not included as one of the 30 most significant players. He played 30 percent of the snaps during the 2020 regular season, and 29 snaps in the playoff win at New Orleans, zero snaps in the championship game at Green Bay (he was inactive), and 23 snaps in the Super Bowl. That’s 53 snaps in the three biggest games of the year, with six catches for 32 yards in those three games. I don’t consider Brown more important to the Bucs’ lineup than Cameron Brate or Scotty Miller, and, seeing as I counted O.J. Howard as one of the most important 30 players in 2021, I don’t consider Brown more important than Howard. If you do, it’s certainly your right.

Well, if Joe had to rank Bucs players, he’d pick Brown over O.J. Howard. Nothing against Howard at all, but his impact on the team since he was drafted has been minimal. Is he talented? No doubt! But the Bucs proved they can make the playoffs and even win a Super Bowl without him.

In just four starts and eight games total, Brown had the fourth-most targets (62) on the team. Does that sound like some throwaway player to you? Either Brown was important enough to be targeted so much or he was talented enough to get open that much. Or perhaps both.

Look, Joe is not saying King is horribly wrong. Can the Bucs win without Brown but with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Scotty Miller and Cam Brate? Sure. But to suggest Brown wasn’t an important piece in the Bucs winning the Super Bowl seems overly dismissive.

Would Joe take Brown over Howard? Darn right.

24 Responses to “Antonio Brown Subpar Ranking Defended”

  1. SufferingSince76 Says:

    The return of Brown would be a bonus for this team. The man behaved last year. Let’s look at his body of work for last year and going forward. If the Bucs have an offer out, then the ball is in his court and they will have done their part.

  2. Darin Says:

    So they didnt prove the could win the sb without brown too? I guess you were watching different games than king and i. Had brown not played 53 snaps in 3 games the games weren’t gona be as close. Scotty boy is a td machine!! Give him more snaps! There are plenty kf reasons brown hasnt signed yet. The first being his personality disorder, at best. He will always be more valuable than everyone else. Just ask him joe. Move on and beam me up Scotty!

  3. geno711 Says:

    Did not realize his snaps were too low in Peter King’s analysis. But shows you how productive he was in those snaps. I guess high quality production does not matter in King’s analysis.

    Quick check:
    Scotty Miller 443 regular season snaps. 55 post season snaps.
    Antonio Brown 323 regular season snaps. 83 post season snaps. King leaves out the Washington snaps in his post season analysis.
    O.J. Howard 132 regular season snaps.

  4. Onetrickpony Says:

    King is a idiot

  5. Ron says Says:

    All of our players Evan, Godwin, Brown, OJ, Gronk, Miller and Johnson are all enigmas to opposing offenses in that they have to be accounted for as all of them have big play abilities. The problem last year is none of them came close to their potential so at a sub par state they were still formable enough to come together and be a efficient enough offense to win a super bowl with our defense at hand. Given another year to gel this offense could be impossible to stop as long as our line holds up and the running game is consistent. Brown is elite on a elite offense and would be great to have but if he leaves for money than we will survive and we will see more of miller and Johnson and possibly a draft pick.

  6. Brandon Says:

    Okay… so let’s say Brown doesn’t get hurt and plays against Green Bay… and Miller isn’t in there for the last play of the 1st half. Does Brown manage to get by King and score a TD? I seriously doubt it. Whether it is because Miller is much faster than Brown or because the Green Bay CB underestimated Miller, chances are extremely improbable that Brown makes that play… and of course that was a HUGE TD in what was a one score game. That MIGHT have been the play of the season and very little chance it happens had Brown been playing in that game.

  7. Irishmist Says:

    I’m convinced that Scotty is going to be much more effective in the short to medium crossing routes next year after proving he can beat guys deep. No DB wants to end up like King on national TV with their mouth hanging open after getting torched by a little white guy.

  8. PA Bucs fan Says:

    Just putting this out there …does anyone think we would have still lost to the bears if we had Antonio brown on the team hypothetically at that point. I sure as hell don’t and that should show exactly why the Bucs need him

  9. Bucanero Says:

    Let’s not get complacent. Brown makes the Bucs better and vice versa.

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    In a draft full of wide receiver’s it’s pointless to sign Brown before all the picks are in. If nobody has signed him yet, nobody will until his asking price comes down or he agrees to play on an incentive laden contract.
    He’s always one stern talking to away from blowing up and he’s still involved in some legal issues.

  11. Bird Says:

    AB had 45 catches in 8 games
    Quick math = 90 catches for an entire season Thats probowl numbers folks
    Him at wr3 makes us unstoppable and opens up run game

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    @ PA Bucs fan: No AB on the field is NOT why the Bucs lost to the Bears. The OL was horrific, and the D could not stop a pedestrian offense in crunch time.

    The absence of Brown had nothing to do with it.

  13. HeyItsAdam Says:

    King is insufferable.

  14. Mike Says:

    AB was the best WR the Bucs had in space, and allowed Godwin to play to his strength as a blocker on screens, etc. He is more valuable to the team for that reason alone then some of the other players mentioned in King’s take.

  15. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    With AB’s upcoming “criminal trial” in December I can’t imagine any other Team offering him a much better deal than what the Bucs have offered him . He’s too big of a risk if the NFL suspends him again that late in the season which is “Crunch Time” for a playoff Team . By not signing yet he again shows that he’s a “Me First” type of player and not a “Team Player” .

  16. Ben green Says:

    You will need this guy at some point. Evans doesn’t miss games but seems like he’s always hurt. Godwin had the finger and gronk is more machine now than man. Why this isn’t clear to most is baffling. You were incredibly lucky with injuries. AB is a tremendous insurance policy and it won’t break the bank. You don’t know if miller or the other kid can handle focused coverage. They look great when Evans is doubled and Godwin has a no.1 corner on him. At his age brown is still incredibly talented.

  17. PatsBucsfan4years Says:

    When did Gronk become a cyborg 😳

  18. Eddie Says:

    It’s not so much that The Bucs can’t win without Brown. Sure they can, but that man can still play. Half a season without training camp or anything else. He caught on faster than Evans with Brady. Anyway, do you really want Brown to sign with Seattle? He could hurt you in the playoffs.

  19. Steve Gaudreau Says:

    That old fart is still writing about the NFL!? Sppffft!! He’s long in the tooth.


    King is an idiot. Brown takes away any double team away from Evan’s and Godwin, Scotty does not. Scotty has shown he cannot play that underneath guy, linebackers and safeties will tee off on him. You want to free up money? Cut Mickens and add Brown to the return team. Losing Brown makes the offense weaker and that is undebatable.

  21. BA4President Says:

    But Joe, would you take Brown over Brate???


    BA4President, is that a serious question? No question. Bringing up Brate, he has back issues not something to take lightly.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    I’d like to get AB back but not at the expense of cutting Brate. The Bucs need to give him a deadline at this point. It’s pretty obvious that no other team is going to give him a better deal.

  24. Richard Robinson Says:

    If it wasn’t for brown there would not have been a super bowl the refaries won the for great white hope