Maybe it’s me, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are letting this Antonio Brown story grow legs & get to running in the media.
Sports media is designed to turn something that might not be the most exciting storyline; and re-package it to get fans’s attention. How else would local radio programs have NFL fodder to feed the masses year-round?
Yes; his Facebook live post served as an unnecessary distraction for his Steelers teammates & coaches, but recent accusations about him being selfish & “not a team player” are coming off as a little hollow.
One reporter; Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL’s media team even went as far as to report that Brown had been seen pouting after RB D’Angelo Williams’ TD because he was open in the back of the end zone:
“The Steelers are also concerned that Brown is focused too much on his own personal statistics even at the Steelers’ expense, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network:
So not only was Antonio Brown not open in the back of the end zone but he appears to celebrate DeAngelo Williams TD, no “pouting” pic.twitter.com/RQVBUmcD5J
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 24, 2017
According to the report, after DeAngelo Williams scored the Steelers’ first touchdown in the AFC Championship Game, Brown was pouting while the rest of his teammates were celebrating because Brown wanted the ball to go to him, not Williams, on the play. And that’s not new: Last year, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had to sit Brown down and tell him to stop chasing statistics, and that his only concern should be winning championships.”
While these are legitimate concerns, Brown has 6,315 yards with 43 TDs over the past four seasons and works endlessly to improve his craft during the offseason. Add to that the Steelers record is significantly better with both him and Big Big on the field, than without them.
Kinkhabwala’s report about Brown pouting during the Steelers loss has come under fire as of late with Brown re-tweeting Colts punter Pat McAfee after he tweeted a photo of the play in question, seemingly showing Brown giving the TD sign in celebration watching Williams cross the goal line.
Whatever the case, the Steelers seem to be doing all they can to allow the media to fan the flames of dysfunction in Pittsburgh. Coach Tomlin should stop answering questions about his most productive (albeit huge headache-causing) WR, and address his leaky defense that couldn’t stop a runny nose when it mattered.
Brown is heading into the final year of his contract and will command huge dollars no doubt. After his rocky end to the season, it’ll be interesting if the Steelers; who have a history of letting talented players walk, will be willing to break the bank to keep Brown.
If they choose not to, and Big Ben chooses to retire (which apparently he’s contemplating), they might find themselves in the unenviable position of replacing these monster numbers…good luck.
Flip the page to see McAfee’s tweet featuring Antonio Brown “pouting” after D’Angelo Williams’ TD: