I’m not really sure if Bruce Arians realizes yet that he is no longer a retired head coach but, in fact, a current, active head coach after he was traded by the Arizona Cardinals to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I say this because the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator continues to speak in ways that you normally wouldn’t expect a coach of his position to speak regarding certain topics—such as negatively discussing specific players on other teams.
Now the specific player in question is one that Arians has a history with, that of course being Antonio Brown of the Steelers. Arians was the team’s offensive coordinator during Brown’s first two seasons in the NFL in 2010 and 2011 before the former was ‘refired’—that is, the team announcing that he had retired only to take a job with another team a short time later.
He previously said of Brown that the Pro Bowler has ‘too much diva’ in him, to which the receiver responded by basically making fun of the way he dresses. Arians was recently back on the airwaves to discuss a number of topics and once again commented on Brown specifically.
“I mean, like I said, he’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever had. He just needs to go back to where the beginning was”, he said. Which is an interesting but not unpredictable comment, and perhaps the general consensus of who he is.
Even former teammates have intimated as much about the superstar, as many believe that he has sort of lost himself in his own persona as Antonio Brown the Elite Wide Receiver and Star NFL Player. Ryan Clark, for example, has been very vocal about it and recalled his experiences with Brown after he had just been given a new contract entering his third season, which is a rarity.
At this point it’s impossible to argue against the idea that Brown is in some way, shape, or form in need of a reboot, restarting to an earlier point in time in which everything was functioning properly. There is obviously something wrong when you stop showing up for work and communicating with your bosses and co-workers for an extended period of time.
Arians seemed to take another shot of Brown at another point in the interview, though not directly. When it was suggested that money and fame had not made him “an a-hole”, he quipped that such people “usually run in the wide receiver room”.
Look, we all know at this point that the Antonio Brown saga is going to drag out for a while, even after he either reports or is traded—you think he’s not going to say anything when he’s in another city? But now, do we also have to wonder if Arians, the head coach of another team, is going to prolong his own role in the tale?