Bruce Arians isn’t going to put up with any complaints from Antonio Brown this season.
The Bucs coach commented on the team’s controversial signing of Brown to NBC Sports’ Peter King. He echoed comments he made before in saying the signing was because of injuries on the team. Arians said Mike Evans (ankle) is playing at around 80 percent, Chris Godwin (hamstring) is playing around 80 percent and Scotty Miller (hip) is playing around 85 percent.
He also added that Brown is a Pro-Bowl-caliber player who can be signed on a cheap deal, so he figured it was worth the risk.
MORE: Arians claims Brown signing wasn’t Brady’s idea
But Arians isn’t willing to let Brown perform his usual antics in Tampa Bay. The Bucs coach told King that Brown is on a short leash.
“Mike [Evans] never bitches,” Arians told King. “I love Mike. Today he didn’t touch the ball till the fourth quarter, but he just wants to win. Chris Godwin, same way. Gronk, same way. If AB’s not that way, then we’re going to have a problem.”
“Who says he has to start? I mean, we just got another Pro Bowl player to put in if one of those guys go down. AB brings another dynamic to our team that we don’t have. I owe it to the rest of our players to put the best team out there possible,” he said. “I don’t foresee any problems. I don’t anticipate any situation where he and I are gonna have a problem. He knows that if there is, it’s a very short-lived contract.”
MORE: NFL Power Rankings heading in to Week 8
Arians spent time with Antonio Brown before, back when he was an offensive coordinator on the Steelers. Arians coached Brown as a rookie in 2010 and then the following season before the coach left Pittsburgh. Even in just that short time, it was reported by NFL Network that Arians’ time with Brown “did not sound like it went well.”
The Bucs coach also plainly said back in March that the team wasn’t going to sign Brown.
“It’s not gonna happen,” Arians said on “Tiki & Tierney” in March. “There’s no room. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not a fit here. I just know him, and — it’s not a fit in our locker room. He’s too much of a diva.”
If that “diva” attitude makes an appearance in Tampa Bay, Arians has made it clear there’s a short leash. When asked by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer what his message was for Brown, Arians said: “Be a team player, or be gone.”