The Steelers’ offense has been dismal through two games, and that may be a generous assessment. Considering the struggles, offensive coordinator Todd Haley shouldn’t feel too comfortable, which wide receiver Antonio Brown made sure of on Monday night.
During the Steelers’ 20-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Brown confronted Haley on the sidelines and “angrily complained” about his lack of involvement in the offense, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Through two games, Brown has been targeted 16 times, which is tied with fellow receiver Jerricho Cotchery for second most on the team. Emmanuel Sanders, whom the Steelers nearly didn’t re-sign this offseason, leads the team with 22 targets and 12 receptions on the season. Brown has 11.
After seeing just seven targets in the Steelers’ Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Brown was Ben Roethlisberger‘s intended target on just three passes (two catches, 35 yards) in the first half against the Bengals, which apparently set him off. Brown confronted Haley about the lack of opportunities during the second half of Monday’s game, and the conversation seemed to work, as he was targeted six times (four catches, 22 yards) after halftime.
Brown, who has been a steady contributor in his three seasons with the team, is the Steelers’ highest-paid receiver after signing a six-year, $43.5 million deal last offseason. The Steelers chose to give Brown that money rather than signing now Miami Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace to a long-term extension, showing which receiver they trust and value more.
Maybe it’s time Haley places that same sort of trust in Brown, because, if the offense keeps trudging along like it has the last two weeks, he might find himself out of a job very soon.