Antonio Brown just isn’t the same guy, according to Bruce Arians.
Arians, who was Brown’s offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the wide receiver’s rookie season, spoke with ESPN’s Adam Schefter on the “Adam Schefter Podcast” and discussed the current turmoil in Pittsburgh surrounding the star pass-catcher.
To Arians, Brown has become too much of the stereotypical star receiver and needs to make “better decisions.” The now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach also busted out the “diva” label for Brown.
“There’s too much miscommunication, too much … diva,” Arians told Schefter, via ESPN. “I’ve heard so many stories — I like Antonio — he plays as hard as anybody on Sunday, and he practices hard. He’s just gotta make better decisions off the field, be on time, do some of those little things.”
Arians noted the high-maintenance receiver he sees today is a far cry from the hard-working rookie he drafted in 2010.
“He was the hardest working,” Arians said. “He and Emmanuel Sanders, boy they went after it because (Steelers head coach) Mike Tomlin used to tell them, ‘Two dogs, one bone.’ And at that time, we had Mike Wallace, Hines Ward — I mean, we had a pretty good run for one of them to get on the field. By the end of the season, they were both winning for us to go to the Super Bowl.”
Rumors have swirled around Brown since the end of the season when the NFL’s touchdown leader reportedly got into an altercation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during practice and missed the week’s remaining practices and walk through prior to the Steelers’ Week 17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Perhaps a reunion with Arians would do the 30-year-old some good, but it seems unlikely that Tampa would want to take on the financial risk of bringing the troubled receiver on board.