For all of his incredible talent, Antonio Brown might be on thin ice with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After creating a distraction with his ill-conceived Facebook Live video, the Steelers wide receiver delivered a solid yet unspectacular performance against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, catching seven passes for 77 yards in Pittsburgh’s 36-17 loss.
But more concerning to the Steelers, apparently, was one play early in Sunday’s game when running back DeAngelo Williams scored the team’s first touchdown. According to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, Brown was seen pouting after the score.
“His team just scored a touchdown and he was upset that he was wide open and (quarterback Ben) Roethlisberger didn’t go to him,” Kinkhabwala, who was on Pittsburgh’s sideline during the game, said Tuesday on NFL Network. “Roethlisberger was then waiting on the sideline, (and) Brown was the last player off the field. Roethlisberger had to talk to him.”
It turns out this is “nothing new” with Brown, as Kinkhabwala reported head coach Mike Tomlin had to tell his star wide receiver last season to “stop chasing statistics.”
Brown’s talent is undeniable; he’s established himself as one of the NFL’s best receivers and was the Steelers’ top target this season alongside Le’Veon Bell. He also insisted in late December his main goal is winning a Super Bowl, not putting up big numbers.
But Tomlin’s stern rebuke of Brown for his Facebook Live video included an interesting line — “That’s often why you see great players move from team to team. “Don’t want that to be his story.” — suggesting Pittsburgh’s patience with the 28-year-old All-Pro could be wearing thin.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images