TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians praised Antonio Brown‘s behavior since joining the team and said that the Bucs were aware of the incident involving the wide receiver damaging a security camera and throwing a bicycle at a security guard prior to signing him.
“We were totally aware,” Arians said Thursday, referencing a statement put out by the team Monday after a Miami Herald report on the incident. Arians was speaking for the first time since the report.
“He’s been a model citizen,” Arians said. “I think we’re beating a dead horse right now, so there’s been enough statements about it.”
The NFL league office was not made aware of the incident prior to Brown’s reinstatement to the league following an eight-game suspension, sources told ESPN. The league is now looking into the incident, in which Hollywood (Florida) Police were dispatched. Police decided they had probable cause to charge Brown with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, but the president of the Hollywood Oaks homeowners association declined to press charges.
Brown could still be found in violation of his probation stemming from an arrest in January for assaulting a delivery truck driver. In June, he pleaded no contest to a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges. He was ordered to serve two years’ probation, undergo a psychological evaluation and complete a 13-week anger management course.
Brown was brought in for a visit with the team Oct. 23, a mere eight days after the incident in his community. Upon his signing, Arians was asked what gave him the confidence to believe Brown would be a fit in his locker room.
“I think he’s matured, and I believe in second chances,” Arians said last month.
When asked Thursday what gave him that confidence to say Brown “had matured” with knowledge of the incident, Arians said, “I think we’ve had enough conversations about that. Thank you.”