Antonio Brown is opening up on his bromance with Tom Brady ... praising the QB for not only helping him be great on the field -- but off it as well.
AB made his official return to the practice field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday ... and spoke at length with reporters about his relationship with TB12.
"Tom is my boy," Brown -- sporting a TB12 hat -- said after practice. "One of the greatest leaders to be around. He’s encouraging, always inspiring. He brings out the best out of people around him. He wants the best for everyone around him."
As we previously reported ... Brady invited AB to live with him in Derek Jeter's mansion after inking his one-year deal earlier this week ... and even got him in touch with Tony Robbins.
While Brady inviting AB to live with him could be considered questionable to some -- given his rape and sexual misconduct allegations (which Brown denies) -- the receiver makes it clear the mansion is a judgment-free zone.
"Nothing that I’ve done in the past matters," AB added. "He’s always getting better, day in and day out. And I just learn a lot from him -- how he trains, how he takes care of himself professionally, his discipline, his work ethic, his approach."
"He’s been a great guy in my corner, and one of my close friends."